Saturday, May 26, 2012

also, peru has monkeys

so i saw 7 species of monkeys in less than 24 hours. quite the record.

also, pigs make great pets.

zazie le chat (1992-2012)

Zazie le Chat.

c. 1992-2012

Zazie le Chat lived an impressively long life under the furniture of her many loving owners. Trembling in constant fear of people, especially black and jewish people, the vacuum cleaner, airplanes, cars, the microwave, snow, fast movements, noises, thunderstorms, she nonetheless gracefully survived many traumatic experiences, including: 2 generation of Bush Presidencies, a leg-breaking fall from a tree, the first Iraq war, 9/11, the war on drugs, the second iraq war, the war in afghanistan, the war on terrorism, being trapped in a fridge, a tail-amputating porch door, and many encounters with other cats, squirrels and birds. While being politcally active, she was smuggled over both the canadian and US borders, tortured a Syrian roommate in North Carolina, lived in Washington DC, and hated John McCain before retiring to nursing care at her birthplace on Long Island in 2010. Zazie loved hiding, basements, windowsills, closets, catnip, asking to be let in and then not coming in, drinking half n half, drinking tuna water, rolling in dirt, rolling in lavender, rolling in sunbeams, wet food, chin rubs, beds, very occasionally the lap of a human, and uncomfortable lounging surfaces such as books or shoes. She is survived by her grieving mother, grandmother, grandfather and a number of other caretakers who will greatly miss her long and subtle adoring presence.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

getting bitten in the peruvian amazon

revenge of the ants!
so, doing some field work in the Peruvian Amazon. our international team of scientists from every continent was out measuring the diameter and height of some trees. the strategy was i would follow maminiaena (from madagascar), who would mark the trees with a number, then i would measure the diameter and call it out to Maru, and Nelson (both from Peru) would estimate the height. arif helped us square out the plot, and double check the measurements. we were sweaty, hot, swatting mosquitos away from our faces.

at one point maniamami and i were at tree number 13 and we hear arif saying.
OW. OW. tree number 13, hieght 24 meters. OW. OW.
what's wrong arif?
bugs. biting me. OW. OW. tree number 14...

so i go over to measure the diameter and ow ow ow ow OW! ANTS! biting me everywhere, in my clothes in my shoes in my underwear all over it's horrible. mamiana- man- Mami! are they biting you too?

yes! aie! aie aie aie! ow! ow! and we are jumping and dancing and itching like our feet are on fire.

Arif is standing like a statue. OW. tree number 15. OW.

maru and nelson come, in a helping manner, like they have some special Andes secret cure.

where does it hurt?
does it sting? or does it feel like a burn, like someone is putting a cigarette out on your skin?

burning! cigarettes! ow ow ow!

and maru and nelson talk to each other, oh, si si, they are definitely tanganara. fire ants. oh, they are the worst! it's going to hurt for at least 8 hours...good luck!

and then they are off. ow ow OW! we are still jumping around and the other groups come over and point and laugh.

you should take all your clothes off! ha ha ha

and then wise old jc explains to the gathered spectators how the fire ant is usually up on a tree or a leaf and when it sees or sense you underneath it jumps down on you to bite you and all of their friends follow.

and so that was how i felt the wrath of 100 fire ants and my body is peppered with welts like nothing i've ever seen before...thank you peru!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012