Saturday, December 24, 2005


Last year began with a delivery truck with an honest driver sideswiping my (parked) car and my being awarded $1400, which helped cover 2004’s emergency room, dentist and vet bills -- plus it turned out I didn’t need that root canal right away after all. A grandniece (Lilayna) was born in January; I got a FOID card in February and threw out my back in March. I finally framed that Cydney portrait of my mother, and Blet! finished shooting and editing that sequence from our sit-com, which turned out quite well despite featuring my wooden self in the lead. Now Gridlife and I are procrastinating on a feature length script that Blet! hopes to shoot next year – with real actors. Some of my first-person essays aired on public radio and appeared in, plus I wrote a few mini- reviews of Bollywood movies for the Backwards R. I finally got a rather sad website, gained and lost a half-assed book deal (long story), and wrote a stilted chapter for DK’s upcoming eGuide to Chicago (out this spring). But now I’m writing less and teaching more yoga…. and making less. Kirby stopped leaking pee, chased a squirrel into the house and made some informal dung paintings. I practiced yoga in NYC with Pattabhi Jois (who did not seem to recognize me) and visited friends in Boston and Santa Monica (who did not seem to mind me). Last fall I met a man at my best friend’s wedding (he of course is the groom’s best friend) and we will hit the three-month mark on Xmas Day (knock wood). A week ago I finally gave up on my mother’s Geo Prizm and bought my first car – a 92 Honda Civic. From a friend. I sold the Prizm to the repair shop owner, who will make his teenage son drive it this winter as a form of punishment…. which makes me think I’ve been unwittingly punishing myself for the past eight years, and wonder what else I’ve been doing to further the cause. Perhaps I’ll figure it out sometime next year -- which I hope will be a peaceful and productive one for all. In the meantime I'll work on standing up straighter, writing more regularly, chewing food prior to forcing it down the gullet and making vegan, whole-wheat sugar cookies that somehow don't suck.*


*"How are these cookies supposed to be?" asked the old man via cell phone last night, while on his way to share them with friends over sushi. "How should I explain them?" Oops.**

**Apparently the sushi chefs loved them anyway.


  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    what ever happened to the the iraq vet you were dating? ( none of my buisness, i know. but since you wrote about him here...)

  2. What is the question of an Iraq vet?

    They need more vets over there, they have 17 million goats alone!

    Restoring veterinary services in Iraq
    To protect livestock and humans from epidemic diseases - $10 million FAO project
    31 May 2005, Rome - Veterinary services in Iraq have been severely damaged after years of neglect and post conflict upheavals, FAO said today.

    The UN agency is currently working to restore urgently needed veterinary services in the country to protect farm animals and humans from epidemic diseases.

    Iraq has a herd of approximately 2.5 million cattle and 17 million sheep and goats. Livestock production is extensive and herds migrate throughout Iraq and neighbouring countries.

    Meat, milk and eggs are the most important source of protein for the population. Any increase in livestock diseases would have a negative effect on the supply of protein-rich food such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, meat and eggs and would have a severe impact on food security.

    But with appropriate animal disease control and surveillance, Iraq could produce much of its animal products and thus reduce the current high level of imports of meat, animal fats, eggs and dairy products.


    Veterinary services, including hospitals and district clinics, diagnostic facilities and cold storage and distribution systems have deteriorated over the past years.

    The country is facing a serious deficit in disease surveillance and emergency preparedness, both crucial elements in fighting endemic and exotic animal diseases, FAO said.

    Transboundary animal diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), screwworm and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) are especially threatening in Iraq and in the region.

    Many other preventable diseases are of concern, including hemorrhagic septicaemia, sheep and goat pox and many production limiting diseases, such as mastitis. Brucellosis, Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever and anthrax are also threats to humans and should be controlled by a modern veterinary service.

    "Iraqi veterinarians consider Brucellosis as the most threatening disease transmitted from animals to humans," said David Ward, FAO Senior Animal Health expert. "Brucellosis is a bacterial disease passed to humans from milk, causing recurring fever, joint pain and severe headaches. It is estimated that over 1.5 million sheep are infected with the disease in the country."

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