You Have Too Many Mag Subscriptions…

…when you go through your magazine pile and find one that is almost a year old:

 

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Benedict has been waiting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’ve already received a new magazine subscription for Christmas! New Year’s resolution: Make more time to read…

Well, I have one day left of work and then it’s holiday break time. Hope you are all having a lovely holiday season. I was going through some old photos the other day and came across these pics of my childhood cats.

Kitty and Kiwi were the best cats ever (don’t tell Olive). They were very chill and great sports.

Happy Holidays!

Kitty

Kitty

 

 

Lil Bro with Kiwi

Lil Bro with Kiwi

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Hunter the Owl

Once in a while, an injured cat makes his or her way to the adoption floor at the animal shelter where I volunteer. If I lived in a bigger apartment, Olive would have a sibling who was blind or cross-eyed or three-legged by now.

So it’s no surprise that I’ve fallen in love with a blind owl.

This is Hunter.

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Hunter was hit by a car and can no longer fly because he is vision impaired. Hunter lives at Wild Wings, a sanctuary for birds of prey near my hometown.

I went to Wild Wings for the first time last weekend, while visiting my family for an early Thanksgiving. My dad and I arrived right when it opened to the public for the day, so all of the birds were not out and about in their enclosures yet. But we saw plenty of birds, all of whom were injured in some way so they could no longer fly.

Can you imagine being a bird who couldn’t fly? Does your heart wince at the thought?

Wild Wings is home to a number of different raptor species, including hawks, eagles, and owls. I’ve always loved owls, so I gravitated toward Hunter, especially when we heard him whoo-ing. The sanctuary also rescued a bobcat who was bred for the exotic pet trade and declawed by the breeder. 😦 Tara was shy, but we got a glimpse of her. She is a beauty.

Wild Wings is a special place and I look forward to supporting it as much as I can. All of the animals can be “adopted,” so I will ensure that Hunter is well taken care of. Here are a few more of the residents:

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A Two-Hanky Day

 

I am not a crier, but I needed two hankies yesterday.

Hanky #1

I found myself furiously blinking away tears while going nowhere fast on the elliptical at the gym. No, I wasn’t in pain; I was watching a movie on one of the TVs. It was the last 30 minutes of a film that takes place in Kenya. An old man is attending an elementary school. He has fought for Kenya’s independence; been tortured by the British in camps; and now at 80-odd years old, wants to learn how to read.

I got the feeling that this was a true story; and it is. Kimani Maruge enrolled in first grade at the age of 84.

As I watched this old man and his “peers” at the little school in the middle-of-nowhere Kenya, I was reminded of how much we take education for granted in the United States. I complain about having $40K of grad-school debt, but I am lucky enough to have gone to college and enroll in grad school, period. There are hundreds of millions of people on this Earth who don’t know how to READ. It is heartbreaking. Let’s add literacy to my list of causes!

So even though I know how the story ends, I’m going to rent The First Grader to watch the first part.

Hanky #2

I turned on ABC News with Diane Sawyer while eating dinner. At the end of the broadcast, there’s a “Person of the Week” segment about everyday people doing good. Last night they highlighted this story: Elliot Shirback is a young man with Down syndrome who lives in upstate NY with his mother. Last month, they were in a store and an asshole said something mean about Elliot. To cheer him up, his mother asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He replied, “One hundred Christmas cards.” She went to Facebook and asked her friends to send cards. The request went viral, and Elliot has received 1,800 Christmas cards. I teared up over the fact that some people are assholes and some people are very kind.

I found the link to Elliot’s mom’s Facebook post here and put a card to Elliot in the mail today.

So the lessons for today, friends: Be grateful for your education and don’t be an asshole.

“Tangling Our Minds and Hearts Together”

 

Rolling Stone started mysteriously appearing in my mailbox a few months ago. As did Redbook. I didn’t order either of them, so I don’t know why they are being sent…

I subscribed to Rolling Stone in my twenties, when I was more into music. When my favorite bands were in their heyday. Reading it now, I’m finding that I’ve never heard of half the bands being featured. So this is what being middle-aged means…

Lou Reed died last month, and his wife, Laurie Anderson, wrote a beautiful piece about their relationship. Read it; you’ll be glad you did. Theirs is the kind of relationship I hope to have someday.

At This Moment

 

Just found out that Gary David Goldberg, the creator of Family Ties, passed away a few days ago. This is very strange timing because I was talking to a friend today about his blog post about the Family Ties theme song.

I have few vivid childhood memories to speak of, but one of them is the final scene of Family Ties. I remember that Alex and Ellen were in a train station and I remember the song that was playing. “At This Moment” by Billy Vera. This song makes my heart wrench because it reminds me of my first love who I let slip away. Oh, the agony of first love!

I hadn’t listened to the song in years, so came home tonight and googled it. I found this clip of the Family Ties finale.

R.I.P, Gary, and thanks for creating this poignant memory.

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