Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuxie Tales

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Meet Tuxie, the land shark. Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun go his paws as he patters around you determining the best way to surprise you. The black and white blur looks just like a shark circling its prey. Suddenly, BITE! SCRATCH! The Tux-Shark has struck again.

Nearly one year ago, Joe and I rescued Tuxie from the Sacramento Animal Shelter. We were thinking about a bunny or a small dog, but upon walking between the bunnies and the dogs, we inevitably passed through the cat zone. Tuxie was in a room by himself, just outside of the bunny room. He followed us as we walked by, and finally we were lured in. We should have known better; why would a cat be in a room by itself while all the other cats were in rooms with many other cats? However, he was the sweetest thing. He jumped into our laps, walked circles around us, and purred up a storm. We knew right away that he was the one for us. He was loving and full of life. Then we brought him home. 

We now have a tuxedo cat who bites like a vampire, stalks like a tiger, hides like Houdini, and destroys like a tornado, but who also loves with the same passion that he creates disaster. Joe and I love him so much despite the innumerable bites, scratches, unsettling noises, and things done missing. I have yet to find my favorite paintbrushes and Chapstick, but I did find some batteries beneath the toaster. He's a whirlwind of energy: He eats our plants, destroys puzzles, lays on our work, short-circuits the TV and internet, turns off my alarm clock, opens doors, swats at the spring doorstopper (dooiiiing, dooiiiing, dooiiiing), spreads soil all over the carpet after knocking plants over, attacks our hands and feet (or at best, struts a nonstop figure 8 in front of our feet which makes it very difficult to move forward), wakes us when he is bored, eats anything and everything, feels the need to display his rear in our faces, spills water all over the place, drags trash out of the trashcan, leaves fur all over the place (he clogged our vacuum), and has scarred my hands to resemble something like dinosaur claws. Yet, he is the epitome of a creature living life to the fullest, seeking fulfillment beyond the given, and expressing as much love as he does trouble. He has taught me to let go, accept things as they are, and not take life so seriously. Most often, love is accompanied by pain; greater experiences of pain provide a foundation for much richer experiences of happiness.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To be a Kid

Do you ever wish you could return to the simplicity of childhood? Kids know how to feel and how to express their feelings. If they are hurt or scared, they cry. If they are happy, they squeal and jump for joy. If they don't like you, they say so. If they love you, they say so. They are able to laugh at themselves and to fully experience every drop of life. The key to happiness is to be more child-like. Not childish, but child-like. Life is better lived through the eyes of a child, for the future of children, and without the bitterness and disappointments many experience. Start fresh; accept the wisdom you have gathered from making mistakes and stumbling, but resist the urge to be greater than those mistakes. I fear that with people's jaded perceptions on life, children's dreams and purity are squelched, bringing them too soon into an adult world. Let there be rainbows, let there be bright colors and noise, let there be messes and crazy questions. Let there be a childhood.

Monday, November 28, 2011


It's amazing how much insight kids have. Adults under-estimate the minds of a child. They adjust, they adapt, they forgive, and they are true to their feelings. Adults can only wish for such abilities. Rather, pride gets in the way, self righteousness blocks us from the truth, and logic blocks us from feeling. My students adjust to the children around them who are autistic or ADHD; they recognize when something is different, and work to make everything fit into their environment. The can be so angry, but after recognizing the feeling, forgive and see the bright side again. They can be so sad, and then see something funny and smile. As a teacher, I feel that adults can learn so much from the innocence of children and their pure emotion. So many people avoid emotion or unpleasant feelings, and turn to what's reasonable or logical and safe. Why don't we make ourselves as vulnerable as children and offer our true selves while accepting the true selves of others? Why don't we give way to the purest form of humanity, cling to our roots, and apply our wisdom to humanity?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Naming Things

What is our obsession with labeling and naming things? We name not only humans and pets, but things as well. My last car I had named Beatrice. My recent car I've named Sadie. Why? I suppose it helps make things personalized in a world that is filled with so many of the same things. I was out walking with Joe the other day and walked past a bush on the side of the freeway which had a tag; it was labeled "shrub." I didn't realize the government actually purchases the shrubs and weeds that grow alongside of roads. We also noticed a staircase which clearly stated STAIRS. Who is not observant enough to notice the inclining steps before them? Our world seems to becoming one which everything needs to be spelled out. No inference making skills and common sense, or worse, people have become so desperate that they need to find the problems and potential lawsuits that exist so they have some drama to drive their existence.