August 25, 2009

Rest In Peace, Old Buddy...

No, no, no, it's not one of our cats that has died and it's not one of my human friends either.
This is about a friend who came into my life about 4 years ago.

Can't believe it's *that* short, feels like we've been together for so much longer.

It was love at first sight.

I had an idea of what he had to look like:
he had to be different
and I didn't want him to be too skinny or small;
a larger body feels so much better.
And there had to be a click, definately.
That spark of magic.

I went to the city by myself that day.
No company; this was a step I had to make on my own.

Would he be there?
Would I recognize him
while other temptations were surrounding us?

I browsed.
Looked at every single candidate.
Eye contact, even some touching & feeling.

I must admit,
some were better,
but far out of my league.
They flirted with me
and I flirted back,
but at both sides it was obvious:
that wasn't the match I was going for.

I had expected him to be black.
Black is my colour.
(or non-colour)
I must admit his looks made me hesitate,
but only for a minute.

Some would consider him ugly,
or at least kinda weird.
And since weird is my middle name,
it was clear when our eyes met:
this guy was going home with me!

How many moments fit
in only 4 years?
So, so many.
My hard drive is stuffed with all those moments.

My buddy, my Dimage Z10,
our ways are parting.

Last weekend you were at my side, we were going to make some great shots of little Noah. You made me feel insecure; was there something wrong with the focus?
Nah, probably my lenses made your screen look blurry, I thought.
But when I came home, not a single shot turned out to be sharp. It wasn't to blame on my eyes.

It's not me, buddy, it's you this time.
You've lost it.

I took you to the river side yesterday, we made a long stroll in the burning hot sun. This was the place where we took out best shots.
And now it is the place where we shot the worst.
Everything is out of focus,
except the macro shots, the one thing you've always excelled in. We may make some macro repo's in the future together, but I'm gonna need to replace you when it comes to other tasks.

I can't believe how fast it went!
When we met, you were the very best within my budget and the size of your frames was very well. Now even my mobile phone has a higher standard than you.
I knew for a while you were getting old-fashioned, but I still loved you.
When someone laughed at your looks, I didn't care. I knew what we had done together in the past and I trusted you to prove them wrong.

This is the last portrait you made of me:

Goobye, old buddy.
Thanks for the good times.
The memories will be preserved.
And I haven't got a clue how to replace you :(

August 7, 2009

Stupid Nature

This afternoon, Molotov came in all axcited, proud of the large bird he caught (or found, he's always making a lot of noises when he watches birds). I HATE it when cats do that!
Yes, I know, I know, it's nature and instinct. I wasn't mad at Mol, but I always get a little sad when I see their kills. :(
Usually I ask Albert to pick up whatever the cats brought home, but let's be a grown up and pick it up myself (with a glove on, couldn't do it otherwise). Grabbed one of the legs and was near the recycling bin when I saw the eyes blink. OMG! This poor little thing was all dead-looking, but that eye was opening and closing like crazy. Last spasms or still alive?
I couldn't throw it in the bin without being sure if it was still alive, so I did what I had to do: I broke its neck.
My god, I'm horrified by myself now. I killed an animal.
Dear cats, please don't bring those preys home anymore. I know you're hunters and I don't mind feeding you canned meat, but if you do hunt, please keep it to yourself.
If I hadn't been a vegetarian already, I would have become one today.
Nature just sucks!

August 5, 2009

Life of Pi

Earlier this year I read the book "Life of Pi", by Yann Martel.
Had no clue what to expect of it, but since someone I know counts it as her favourite book I thought it was worth a try.
OMG, it was SO worth trying!
The story is about a boy.
And a tiger.
And some other animals.
"After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.
The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years."
When I started reading, my rational mind was in the way of enjoying the book.
Too often I heard myself thinking: "this could never happen".
But when I got deeper into the book, the story caught me.
Letting go of all kinds of judgements and just opening up to the story told, is probably the nicest way to read Life of Pi.
So, there I was, sitting on this lifeboat with Pi, the tiger and the other animals. Oh, how cute the orangutan with her big sad eyes was!
And that poor zebra...
But the hyena gave me the creeps.
The tiger is not just a big kitty, it's a fierce and graceful carnivore.
Beautiful but oh so unpredictable and dangerous...
I didn't wanna stop reading, was só curious what would happen next and how things would work out. The story made me want more, more, more!
I won't spoil what happens in the book, but I can tell you there's a twist in it that made my jaw drop and my eyes teary...
After finishing the book, I thought it would be great to read it in its original language, English.
Was planning to buy it when someone on the BookCrossing forum was offering it as a RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness, which usually means sending someone a book from your collection). There was a raffle and of course I entered. And I won! Yippeee!
The book arrived here a few weeks ago.
To my surprise, Danielle23 had enclosed a postcard that told me about a world wide readalong, starting in August.
Of course I joined that project immediately and now I'm re-reading Life of Pi, together with hundreds of others.
We're getting tips for even more intense reading, questions that challenge you to think over some of the parts.
You can read all about the project here:

Do take a few minutes to watch the clip.
It's gonna be a movie as well!
A last thought about this story before I'm off to read some more:
it raised such a puzzling question for me: if I would be in Pi's position, would I be able to give up vegetarism to survive? Could I kill an animal and eat it? Or rather die?
Hmm, let's stick to the conclusion Anne and I came to: never make a boat trip across an ocean, so you won't be in that position! ;)

BookCrossing Generosity

The Summer Gift Giving project is still on and I'd like to show the sweet surprises I received!
Not all gifts were part of that project; I received 2 RABCK's (Random Acts of BookCrossing Kindness) from Dutch BookCrossers and one from abroad (won it in a raffle and will write more about that book).
I've sent out many surprises myself and secretly giving (and getting response!) is even better. Tried to fulfill some wishes and it's great to be able to send people bookplates in their own language! Two more languages are online now: Chinese and Malaysian, thanks to Starbytes!

But the best thing of this whole project is that I 'met' some BookCrossers I'd never been in touch with. I said it before, but I keep repeating it: BookCrossing is such an amazing community and there's something really special about the people who are part of it. BookCrossing is my prozac!!!

August 2, 2009

Roof Mole

As some of you might know, our cats have weird names: Puschkin, Munchkin, Sacharov, Pavlov and Molotov. The names Sacharov and Molotov have too many syllables for daily use, so we use nicknames most of the time (well, actually we have nicks for all 5). Sacharov is mostly called Sachie, but we discovered he also looks up when we call him Mimi. Maybe his previous owners called him that way?
Molotov also goes by the names Molly, Molo and Mol. And when we talk about him, we often say "de mol" ("the mole"). No idea why, but we do so.
Sometimes that leads to funny misunderstandings.
We were visiting my sister and told about how "Mol" likes to be on the roof. She was flabbergasted. "A mole? Climbing in a tree onto the roof?! How is that possible?!" Haha, try to visualise an actual mole, leaving its underground home, using those digging claws to climb a tree :)

Our little "mole" has 2 tv shows 'named after' him: Who Is The Mole? and Where Is The Mole?
My sister's cat goes by the name of Elvis and now he's got his own show as well: Where Is Elvis? A question that shouldn't be so hard to answer, because it's obvious why Elvis' previous owners called him "the Yeti" :)

Here are some pics of Mol in action. He's the first of ours cats that figured out how to get on the roof and hopefully the last as well. Besides that it's scary to us, it's also very annoying to the neighbours, especially when it's real early in the morning. Every time he's so excited about the adventure that he can't stop meowing, really loud. And since our house is at the corner of a block, he can walk all the way to the other side of the block, waking up everyone who has their windows open...