Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bat, the animal...not the sporting equipment

This last week I was able to go to my cabin in Idaho. Lets clarify cabin really quick. It's more like a house, well it is a house, complete with all the amenities and a fire pit in the front so it 'feels' like camping. Yes sir, that is how I rough it in the wilderness. The days were filled with early morning mountain bike rides and canoe trips. Smores dominated the nights, while i discovered possibly my new favorite short story writer (read Flannery O'conner's short story A Good Man is Hard to Find or Good Country People--they definitely make you think). Anyway it was my kind of vacation, lots of food, family, and no cell phone service. Then it all changed.

I have been having difficulty sleeping recently and so I was sitting in my bed listening to music that erica, once again, so kindly donated. I looked out my door and saw my dad sitting on the stairs. I asked him what he was doing and he coolly replied "I think I just saw a bat." My retort was laughter and I quickly reminded him that I was mocking him and bats prior to his going to bed so it must have been that conversation that caused him to dream of bats. He was not convinced so he went down stairs. An hour later I was still up and this time thinking about bats. I couldn't go to sleep so I meandered down stairs, curled up on a couch and watched the ceiling. I must have drifted off to sleep because i had a terrifying dream of bats attacking me and a mine worker coming after me. I was, once again, awake.

The solution? I couldn't stop thinking about the bats so the 21-year-old mature almost college grad, myself, did the only think I could think of. I went and slept on my parent’s floor. Then, somewhere around four am my mom shrieks "BAT." We scramble to exit the room. My aunt and uncle who were up there with us run out. There might have been screaming and profanity. Then, after we were all armed with pillows we see a silent, gliding bat effortlessly cut through the air, with the illusion that it was magic creating his flight.

When I had gone into my parent’s room I had shut the door which means that the flying rat had crawled into the room--right by my head--disgusting. Luckily my fearless, bat attacking uncle went after the nocturnal being and captured it. While the bat was chewing on his leather gloves my uncle showed an act of stupid (but endearing) charity and released the bat out in the wild.

Why are bats scary you ask? True they are creepy, yes they make high pitched scary noises, and yes they do have a reputation of morphing into vampires but the truth is even more scary. The bats can bite you without you feeling it and you can get rabies. Safe to say I was happy when the bat was gone. Anyway, i hope the attached picture is scary enough for you because i find it revolting. Word to the wise-watch out for the bats.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

Last summer I read a book titled "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. This books is an idealistic tale of building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan in hopes that the women there can rise above their impoverished world and create a better world for themselves and their children. In a society where sexism is the norm, the goal of Mortenson gave me a rush of hope in humanity. There is a great article about it by Thomas Friedman called "Teacher, Can We Leave Now? No." It takes a step back from the political world of wars and contention and looks at the potential for improvement that these undeveloped nations have, and illustrated that there is a promise for a better future.

Anyway, it's a good book which I would highly recommend. In other news I went to Toronto CA where I realized that Canada struggles from a severe identity crisis. They hail the queen, cross the boarder for American health care, and claim their own independence. Poor Canada, it has no idea what it is. It doesn't even know which language to speak. Regardless, it was so cool and I loved being back in a city with streets by the name of Queen and King. I also went to Niagara falls where I rode a boat into a cavern made of walls of rushing water. It was so funny. I also went to Palmyra NY which was interesting. Ps: no one lives there.