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The Taunting

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gauntlet“It’s on!” For my sister and me, these words mark the official beginning of our annual holiday gift giving tradition: The Taunting. The first to throw down the gauntlet takes the immediate lead. This is always accompanied by a mandatory taunting in a conversation that goes something like this:

“Just so you know, I got you something today.”
“Oh, no, you did not!”
“Yep! It’s on the table. I’m looking at it right now.” This is said slowly and deliberately and in a teasing tone that would make any fourth grader envious.
“That’s not right!” said seriously, followed by an excited “What did you get?”
“Nope! Not telling. You’ll have to wait. But you’re really going to like it.”
“Fine. It’s on, then!”
“Just so we’re clear on the score so far, I have one point. You have none. Have a nice day!”Continue reading The Taunting

Benedict Cumbercat: Zombie Killer

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I am a cat, scientific name felis domesticus. That’s Latin for “house cat,” but don’t be fooled. We’re one of the most prolific killers on the planet. Don’t believe me? Look it up!

I was adopted from the animal shelter at the beginning of January when I was seven months old. I have an older sister named Violet who is eight. She is a bitch.Continue reading Benedict Cumbercat: Zombie Killer

Revenge of the Sith(ter)

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Rotary dial telephone, c. 1940s (Photo: Kornelia und Hartmut Häfele)
Rotary dial bakelite telephone,
c. 1940s
(Photo: Kornelia und Hartmut Häfele)

Many years ago, my sister met and married this wacky, cool Canadian guy and moved to Canada. Meanwhile, I had already had to relocate from our home town of Detroit to find employment in Houston. The challenge was always the same: keeping in touch with my sister without having to compromise on our occasional marathon gab sessions without racking up ridiculously high long distance and international phone bills. Continue reading Revenge of the Sith(ter)

The Mummy Head Incident

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Mummy, 30 BCE-395 BCE Human remains, linen, gold, brass Unknown artist Egyptian
Mummy, 30 B.C.E.-395 C.E.
Human remains, linen, gold, brass
Unknown artist
(Detroit Institute of Arts)

Growing up, I had an intense interest in the people and customs of ancient Egypt. One of the reasons was cats: I loved cats and had one of my own during most of that time. I loved that the ancient Egyptians shared my adoration for and appreciation of the cat. They even had a cat-headed goddess named Bastet!

What really fascinated me, though, was ancient Egyptian mummification.Continue reading The Mummy Head Incident

The Look

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"The Look" (Photo credit: S. Juby)
“The Look”
(Photo credit: S. Juby)

During one of my recent visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts, I decided to pop into the gift shop to do a bit of window shopping. I was examining some wallets and coin purses when I witnessed a classic example of sibling rivalry go down between two brothers several feet away who appeared to be around 16 and 13 years old. Continue reading The Look

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