This is actually a post about something besides the release of my book! This has been me lately: "Blah blah blah Dreamdark blah blah blah Blackbringer. . ." So, here are 5 things that are NOT about Dreamdark.
1. Peanut butter and dog food sandwich
That is what Leroy had for dinner tonight. He hadn't been showing any interest in his dogfood, a glomp of wet goosh into which was mixed his arthritis medication, and so I slathered some bread with peanut butter, slorped on the dog food, and stuck another piece of bread on. Yummy. He was so delighted with it!
2. Tiger Farms
This one sucks. Out and about today, I happened to pick up the Asian Reporter, a Pacific Northwest weekly of Asia-related news, which reported this: the international ban on trade in tiger parts for traditional medicine is under threat in China, where "businessmen" are putting pressure on the government to overturn it. That's bad. Very bad. But the part of the article that really nauseated me was the fact that there are legal tiger farms in China, where Siberian tigers are bred for use as parts in medicine. There are some 5000 captive-bred tigers in China now, while there are scarcely more than that estimated to remain in the wild.
In other grim tiger news, read this link about the sad state of tiger conservation in India.
3. Hero Rats! (this one is much cheerier!)
Awesome news that humans don't always suck. In fact, they don't suck a lot. And here is one of the non-suck times. On PBS's Frontline/World tonight was a segment on the "Hero Rats" project run by a Belgian researcher in Tanzania. He's been a rodent-lover since childhood, and has turned that love to training African giant pouched rats to sniff out land mines! These rats are BIG, and they're so cute, they live around 8 years and are super trainable. Did you know that a landmine explodes somewhere in the world about once an hour? (Okay, an example of human suckage) And Africa has more than anywhere else. So these rats go out on leashes and sniff out mines and scratch the ground!!! And they're almost always right. I love it! Weetjens, the researcher, is now training rats to sniff out tuberculosis. Check out this: a human lab technician can test about 20 samples for TB in a day; a rat can sniff about 2000. You can watch that segment here.
4. My sister the snake surgeon!
Yes, this is my sister Emily about to cut open a rattlesnake. I'm not sure why. Probably to implant a radio tracking device. She's a professor at Cal Poly (for you non-West Coasters that's the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo). Her website here has lots of great herp photos and things of interest to would-be field biologists.
5. Ridiculous tall shoes
You might know that I have a problem. An, er, addiction to artificial height. My tallest platform shoes are 6-1/4 and I've been wearing them quite a lot lately. Wellllllll. . . I felt the need for some "summery" stilts, so I ordered some. That is, four pairs. Ulp! However the blasted shoes site emailed today that two of them are on back order! DAMN! See, the problem with platform shoes is that it is very difficult to find shoes that are TALL, but not "stripperish." I don't want thigh-high red patent stilettos. No. It's tricky, this quest of mine. Especially considering that anything below four inches -- okay, 4-1/2, is just way too short. Ha! Anyway, here are the ones that weren't canceled (check out that witchy heel on the not-so-summery pair):
6. Pink hair!
I know I said there were 5 random things. This one is a bonus: PINK hair. That's what I'm thinking now, instead of blue. I am totally going to do it!