The Whole World Is Festering With Unhappy Souls

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Venezuela, February, 2014
As a bit of explanation for the sub­title of this blog, “everything I know I learned from my pets”, this is what happens in our house.
When I moved to Mexico, from New York, I had a rescue cat, named Baby. She survived the 13 hour trip here iin a crate, in the hold of the plane, with just a toy and enough water to last the trip. When she arrived, she took to Mexico as if she were born here. Since then we’ve added Jake, a street dog our housekeeper found as a puppy, and Schultz, a Schnauzer look­alike ( we were told he’s  purebred, but I have my doubts ), that was a gift from a young couple who could not afford to keep him.
This is what life is like with these pets: They all sleep in my bed, all three, 2 dogs and a cat. As soon as one of my eyelids flutter open, the two dogs, who have been quiet until then, make a mad dash to see who can lick my face first, and most, and the cat (who usually is asleep on my leg, or in the chair next to the bed), comes over and pokes me with her wet nose. I get a cup of coffee, and the dogs head to a balcony door, waiting for me to open it so they can see who is down in the street, and the cat makes her way to the roof to observe from there. Some days I might pour a bit of milk in a saucer, and all three line up. Jake and Schultz allow the cat first dibs, then Jake allows Schultz to have some,and when all have finished, he’ll finish what’s left. When food is put out, the same thing goes.
The point is this: if these 3 totally unrelated animals, of different breeds, and even species, can get along, and even act courteously towards each other, what is the problem with humans? Gays want to marry? Fine, what’s it to you?  Background checks for firearms? Who cares? Do you have a record? No? Legalize marijuana? When was the last time someone on pot shot his family, or even got into a fight? Everyone protesting these things is protesting because of a personal agenda, personal preferences.  Each and every one.
So I ask you: If a cat from the Bronx and 2 dogs from Mexico can get along, despite being totally different, having different likes and dislikes, what is the problem with humans?

Synchronicity

Carl Jung coined the word “synchronicity” to describe coincidence. Two events, having no connection in the real world, but are acausally connected. I bring this up because of something that happened to me the other day, a coincidence of the highest degree, but in my mind at least, connected.

 

I went to a street in our town that is known for having very many small, and not so small, stores. The selection of merchandise available is quite eclectic: from foodstuffs to computer parts. I go there to pick up supplies for my cupboard, and then I browse the gadgets and other things on display. Since there are a few very good, but inexpensive restaurants there also, I’ll have lunch too and make a day of it. I had just visited a store, and since there was a place to sit down outside, I decided to take a brief rest and observe the other shoppers passing by.

 

I saw a man and woman across the street, and he looked very familiar. I have a great memory for faces (with names, not so great) so I wondered where I might know him from. Then it hit me. I once worked in New York City, in midtown, on Seventh Ave, about 2 blocks from Madison Square Garden. On the next block was an electronics store, owned by two brothers from Israel, one of whom named Stan, I dealt with quite a bit, and we became friends of a sort. I had not seen him for at least 35 years, and yet, there he was, across the street, strolling along with his wife.

I called out his name, and although he did not recognize me at first, he finally did and we had a nice little chat and caught up with what had happened in the intervening years, Now I live in North Central Mexico, a nice small sized city, not a tourist attraction by any means, and I’m from New York, and I meet someone from Israel, whom I have not seen in more than 35 years. That’s synchronicity in my book.

 

They used to say that if you stood at the corner of 7 Ave and 42 St in New York City, eventually every person in the world would pass you by. It seems that the world is much smaller, and that saying can even apply to  the Arroyo del Plata, in Zacatecas, Mexico.

 

Get Your Ass To Mars?

MARS, the “Red Planet”, has fascinated me ever since, as a child, I read Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and went on to devour his entire Barsoom series. This fascination has continued until today, even though I am “ of a certain age “, and has even intensified because of the creation of the

Mars One Project

“ Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations; it is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars. The Mars One mission plan consists of cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, followed by human landings. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. These missions will set up the outpost where the human crew will live and work. “
The project, however, is a one-way trip, with no possibility of the volunteers ever returning to the home planet Earth. This is fine, IF the volunteers are unencumbered by any familial obligations, but one volunteer, a Ken Sullivan, of Utah, has a wife of 5 ½ years, and four children, ranging in age from six months to 13 years, and if selected ( he has already made the second cut ) will leave wife and family behind.
Personally, I am all in favor of following a dream, I have done it myself. I lived in New York City my entire life, until I met the love of my life ( A.K.A. “my Sweet Baboo” or “La Duquesa “)  who happened to be a Jersey Girl who had lived in Mexico for almost 14 years, and I moved there to be with her.

However, I was unencumbered by any obligations. Although I have four sons, they were all grown, and on their own, with families and careers well under way. The only thing that relied on me was a rescue cat from the Bronx named Baby, and, she made the transition to life in Mexico with flying colors, enduring with aplomb 12 hours in the hold of a plane, in a crate, with nothing more than a supply of drinking water. In fact, I am of the opinion that she likes Mexico even more than I do, having free reign of a large house, and having the company of our two dogs, Jake and Schultz ( especially the pup, Schultz, with whom she plays with constantly ).
Would I like to be a participant in the Mars One Project ? Absolutely, no doubt about it. I would love to be among the first Martians. Would I volunteer to go if my Sweet Baboo, and all the pets were excluded? I don’t think so.

Sorry, not by a long shot.