Friday, September 23, 2011

My Pet Miniature Elephant

The other night I had one of the most terrifical dreams I've ever had. I had LOVED elephants for as long as I can remember. My friends are always getting me elephant pendants, lamps, and paper made from elephant poop (okay--two people have given me this as gifts--I love elephants, not their poop! If I hear that you like dogs, do I give you a bag of my dog's poop?).

In my dream. Peter and I were living in some sort of city. We were renting this huge and awesome apartment and we had a roommate--who had a miniature elephant from Ethiopia as a pet. She was all:

"Oh, this elephant? I got him in Ethiopia when I lived there for a few years."

Okay, so in my dream, I totally fell in love with this elephant--which looked like one of those baby elephants you see on TV. It was about as tall as a Great Dane--so pretty big, but so sweet and cute! And in my dream, I was trying to concoct all these ways that I could kidnap her because my roommate was never going to let her go.

The roommate got this last-minute call--I guess she worked for some sort of organization like the Red Cross or something like that and was called away to Sarajevo, or some other remote country. She asked if I would take the miniature elephant because she didn't want to have her quarantined for 4 weeks like she had to when she brought it to America.

Peter said to her, "Oh, I don't think that's a good idea."

And of course, I totally elbowed him in the stomach and said, "WE'LL TAKE HER!"

The rest of my dream was telling Peter that I would never, ever ask for anything else for as long as I lived if I can have a pet elephant. And we were already living with her!

And then I woke up.

You know that hazy state you're in right after you wake up from a dream? Well, I went over to my computer and looked up "Miniature Elephant as Pets" because I sort of believed that they were out there. And when I found a link, I got SOOOO excited--I mean, I'll go to the ends of the earth to get me a miniature pet elephant.

Apparently, this was a facebook page for the "Society for the Introduction of Miniature Elephants as Pets." It's sort of a jokey site created by someone who had the idea before I had my dream. And no, miniature elephants don't exist...yet. Bummer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A few weeks ago, when I was in Kentucky, I talked to Peter on the phone and he said, "I think I hear an animal in our bedroom wall."

It's not that I didn't believe him, but Peter's ears suffered through years of playing in extremely loud clubs and rock concerts without earplugs. So yes, I believed that he heard something, but I wasn't really convinced that it was an animal.

About a week later, we were in our bedroom and he said, "That! Do you HEAR that?"

I did hear a little something, but it was very faint and I'm not even sure if I trusted my ears. But then the next morning when I woke up, I distinctly heard something that sounded like chewing in the wall.

I googled "animal in wall" and came across websites featuring birds and possums and raccoons caught in between the walls.

An hour later, I was blithely getting a Swiffer cloth to Swiffer around the living room floor. I pressed down on the box to lift up the flap and AMOUSERANOVERMYHAND!!!! Oops, sorry. I meant: A...MOUSE...RAN...ACROSS...MY...HAND.

Just at that moment, Peter turned the doorknob as he returned from work and heard my bloodcurdling scream that sounded a bit like: "UUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

He said that at first, my frenzied, high-pitched scream made him think that I had hurt myself, but then my scream took on a frantic energy that made him think, "Oh, yeah. That noise I've been hearing is probably a mouse!"

Apparently, the mouse had been FEASTING on the bird seed that we keep under the sink--which is also where we keep our cleaning supplies.

That night we went to Home Depot and picked up these plastic kill and contain mousetraps because they didn't have what my friend who lives in Park Slope calls the "Mouse Electric Chair."

It looked pretty flimsy, but it caught the mouse a few days later. At least, I hope it was that mouse and I hope that it was the only mouse in the house.

Although, Peter and I keep wondering, how was is that the mouse was in the Swiffer box the moment I reached for it? Was he sleeping in there like Stuart Little?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Birthday Party

My sister Judy had a birthday party dinner last week and it was really wonderful. You know the feeling you get when you get so happy that it makes you feel sad? I felt a bit like that.

Judy has developmental disabilities so she kind of operates like a seven-year-old at times. Her friends were mostly from her school and programs she's involved in and a few of her friends have Down's Syndrome. My family picked a restaurant that does events with people who have developmental disabilities and the waitstaff was super-nice (The Bicycle Club in Englewood Cliff, NJ--a really nice space with great people).

When the menus were passed out, one of the kids asked if there was a party menu and when my sister Jenny said, "No party menu, you can order anything you want in the regular menu."

He gasped, "We can order off the REGULAR menu?"

You could tell that inside, he was thinking: Boy, this is CLASS.

It was sweet to see all those kids together. Each person has different disabilities. For example, some kids are shy about asking where the bathroom was, some kids won't eat vegetables, some have special food restrictions, some need help walking because they have physical disabilities. What was amazing was that they all knew each other so well, that they helped each other out.

One girl took away her all her neighbor's vegetables because he won't eat his ribs if vegetables are touching them. (Of course, I'm thinking: Man, his poops must be tough!) One girl with Down's Syndrome needed to go to the bathroom and a friend helped her find it. It was nice to see that everyone had their strengths and weaknesses and as a group of friends, they all worked together to help each other out. I wished that more people could be like that.

Jenny also made these gorgeous decorations with banners, place cards, cupcake flags and goodie bags. She spent hours and hours printing them up and putting it all together. And it did not go unappreciated. When we wrapped up the party, we discovered that a lot of the kids kept all those paper decorations--even the cupcake flags. How cute is that?

Jenny got cupcakes from Manhattan for the party, and on the way home, one of the girls told her mom, "We ate cupcakes from NEW YORK!" It was just so nice because these kids just APPRECIATED the hell out of every little thing and it did kind of make us feel like a million bucks.

I mean, the night was all:

"You're so PRETTY!"
"Where'd you get this? You MADE this? WOW! You're REALLY GOOD!"
"Judy, your sisters are SO NICE!"
"Who's this? Hi! Nice to meet you!"
"I LOVE your dress!"

What's not to love?

I've heard of so many people who terminate their Down's Syndrome babies and it actually made me cry when I got home because these kids were so sweet and kind. And I know that growing up, a lot of my parents' friends have felt sorry for us, but we're so lucky to have Judy in our lives.

I mean, who else has a person in their lives who, no matter what he or she does, will ALWAYS love them unconditionally?

This is how nice my sister Judy is--when she first started work at the library, there was a co-worker there who HATED Judy. In fact, she tried to get the boss to get rid of Judy a bunch of times. I mean, what a creep, right?

About a few months after Judy started her job, I asked her how this co-worker was doing--and if she was being any nicer. Judy said:

"Oh, YES. She's SOOO much nicer now."

"Really?" I asked her. "What's different?"

"Now, sometimes she says hi!"