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I’ve been reading Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese. It’s a fascinating history of how humans have come to use and rely on the power generated by burning coal. It’s got a bit of an environmentalist bent to it, but I’d highly recommend it!

In my reading, Ms. Freese mentioned something about a ‘killer fog’ event in London during December of 1873. While trying to find information on this event, which is hard, I found something else:

The Killer Fog of ’52

No, I’m not talking about The Fog or its crappy remake!

Between Dec. 5-9th 1952, London was trapped in a fog (or smog, if you will) of epic proportions. Trapped by the inversion layer formed by the dense mass of cold air, the already horrible air pollution became toxic and killed as many as 12,000 people in London.

“The lips of the dying were blue. Heavy smoking and chronic exposure to pollution had already weakened the lungs of those who fell ill during the smog. Particulates and acids in the killer brew finished the job by triggering massive inflammations. In essence, the dead had suffocated.” — NPR: The Great Fog of ’52

Accounts of survivors in a BBC article

A bit more reading from the Met Office file on the Fog of ’52

Fifty years later, people don’t talk much about this event. It’s become a blot in the pages of history. But its impact changed the way people saw the environment and how mankind has polluted it.

Although steps were taken to clean the air in London (and the Earth as a whole, with the Kyoto Protocol) some 20,000 in England alone suffer shortened lives each year do to air pollution.

Just imagine if this happened in Los Angeles. Or New York City. Or Chicago.

Since the release of Nine Inch Nails’ Survivalism video, everyone’s probably noticed the scarf Trent’s wearing.

It is a Keffiyeh.

For those not familar, it is a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

Due to the nature of the video, I can’t tell if there are colours to it, but it seems to be a black and white keffiyeh, which is common to the Levant, aka Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories.

In other ways, the colours mean something else. The black-and-white is often associated with Fatah. The red-and-white keffiyeh is often associated with Hamas. Did Trent know that?

The thing about this, and we all know Trent Reznor is quite big on political statements lately, especially anti-Bush/anti-war as of late, is the use of this keffiyeh. See, the Urban Outfitters chain was selling keffiyeh scarves, labeling them “anti-war woven scarves”. This blog entry at KABOBfest documented the “craze”, showing American teens and trendsetters wearing the “anti-war scarves”, showing “support and solidarity to Palestine”.

Honestly, I don’t really think any single person who purchased one had any damn idea what it was/represents.

Eventually, the outcry grew loud and Urban Outfitters stopped selling them, saying (quote) “Due to the sensitive nature of this item, we will no longer offer it for sale. We apologize if we offended anyone, this was by no means our intention.”

Morons. This isn’t the first time Urban Outfitters done something idiotic.

This store sells keffiyeh with the statment: “Now, however, it has come to symbolize the Palestinian (and Iraqi) resistance to occupation and injustice, and is worn by men and women worldwide as an expression of solidarity.”

This particular article tells of a student who was dared to wear a keffiyeh through US Customs on his return from Israel.

If we take all this into context, obviously Trent was making a statement. At the end of the Survivalism video, a body with a keffiyeh is dragged around a corner, leaving a trail of blood on the floor.

Whether that was just part of his Year Zero alternative-reality game, or a statement of his views on the War On Terror/Middle East conflict remains to be seen.

Contrary to what someone might think, I haven’t forgotten this blog.

No, it is Winter here in Oregon and my yearly depression had set in full-force. Granted this usually lasts until March or April, only to knock me on my ass around my birthday in May, then disappears into the Summer “I hate the HOT!” Blahs.

I swear to God, one time my doctor told me I would wake up one day and never not be depressed again. I think he was right.

I will not start singing “Hello darkness, my old friend”, as that is lame.

Instead I will say I honestly don’t know what to write in here. Yes, the medical articles I’ve written are extremely popular with Google searches and have brought me far more traffic than I ever expected to this lowly blog. But those are hard to do. A lot of the science I find interesting doesn’t really make for a joking atmosphere. I’ve tried to write an entry on the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 but it’s not a fun topic.

Instead I’ve contented myself with watching Discovery Health on TLC and learning about really fucked up diseases and conditions that I want to write about but have to broach with kid gloves because they are really hard to take.

Perhaps inspiration will strike. I guess I could talk about Costocondritis. I bet no one here has heard of that.

(Note: you have to sing the title like the lyric in Burn.)

So, it’s practically the 365 day of 2006. Which means it’s over.


I can’t complain; 2006 saw many firsts for me. I moved out on my own into a condo and have successfully lived alone for just over six months now. I went to Alaska for the first time (on a cruise, which was also a first) (also got snogged in the elevator by one of the bellhops who apparently had a crush on me (unbeknownst to me) made another first) and saw icebergs and glaciers and eagles flying freely over my head. I had what was my first (and better be the last!) arm-related surgery.

There’s probably more but that’s all that’s coming to mind right now.

On the other end of the spectrum, there was a lot of chapters closed. I moved out of the parental nest (and god, I don’t want to return) and we packed up and moved my grandmother from her house of roughly 30 years (after 8 years of trying to settle my step-grandfather’s trust) and we no longer have the “family home” to go to. That was rough. If the move hadn’t been like the seventh circle of hell I might have been a lot worse off emotionally about it.

I’ll say it. I turned 25 in 2006. I’m a quarter of century old and I thought I’d be a lot farther in life (like, career, love, health, etc) but I’m not. In a way I’m okay with that, because for all my ambitions and dreams I’ve got a lot of really bad realities (ie: emotional/mental health issues) that tend to want to snuff me out. The first part of last year was spent in a really dark depression (It started in Sept ’05 and went through March ’06.) and while this year’s funk is honestly not as dark (there have been moments) there have been things that have snapped me out of it and made me realize it’s not as bad as it looks.

At one point or another you participate in the timeless tradition of making resolutions for the upcoming year. There’s all the standards, the ambitions, the deal makers.

I hate resolutions. I never seem to make ones I can keep. I guess because I make ones I know aren’t truly that possible in any way.

(This from a girl who’s life’s goal since kindergarten is: Marry a rock musican.)

There’s lots I would like to accomplish in 2007. Don’t get me wrong. But I don’t see basic needs, like getting a job that’s not something temporary and actually has a future, overcoming my terror and learning to actually drive a car all by myself, keeping my weight down, and staying/eating healthy as “resolutions”. They’re things that need to be constant goals, something that you really have to accomplish and/or maintain, and shouldn’t find yourself sitting there as the clock winds down on 2007 realizing “oh, I screwed up again. oh well!”

Even the goals like “read more”, “watch less TV”, “take up a new hobby”, etc… those really aren’t resolutions. Well, maybe they are to someone, but I don’t know what the new year will bring, what I will find myself interested in.

(Hell, I took up knitting after wanting to learn for years, just because I had to kill the time when my dad was in the hosptial hovering between life and death for a month. Who knew I’d actually learn and be good at it? How would that have turned out if I’d made a resolution years before that happened and failed to accomplish it?)

I suppose I can make one resolution. I know I can easily keep this one!

My resolution for 2007: sleep.

I’ve been trying to think of something to write. And a lot of my memories are more… snippets if you will. A lot of the crazy things that happen to my family are more “you had to be there”, because they just don’t translate into type.

And some of the strange things that have happened to me, I’m just not at liberty to share. C’est la vie.

Today was my last physical therapy session for my left arm. I have three lovely stitches popping, the kind that are supposed to dissolve and they’re quite the painful little buggers. The asisstant is not in at the doctor’s office (see, the PT clinic and my doctor are right next to each other, adjoined by a bridge over a small gully with a creek) so I can’t have them removed til Tuesday at the earliest.

This triggered a memory, which is actually more of a really long story I’ve retold several times in my life. Mainly because if you saw me today, you’d never ever know unless I told you.

As a child, I was the chubby kid. It comes from my father’s side, really. That and being a truly picky eater. But something you cannot predetermine is what can be controlled by exercise and what is genetics.

You know the girl. The one growing up that is already far beyond endowed then any other girl in the class, let alone the school.

Yup, that was me.

Early on in life, probably in elementary school, I heard there was a surgical procedure that could reduce the size of these things (I wasn’t fond of using the actual term at the time) and would instantly make my life a lot less hellish. I figure I was around 8 when I heard about it.

But I said nothing. I didn’t even know how to broach that subject with my mother. I mean really, how do you say, “Please take me to some doctor and have these huge pieces of flesh cut down!”

I have a condition known as costochondritis, which amounts to have a form of arthritis in the intercostal tissues that connect your ribs. As far as I can figure, it hit me full-force around 7 (that’s another story) and really flares up in times of stress. There’s no true way to understand the amount of pain unless you physically experience it. Last Christmas, for example, I thought I was having one long heart attack. (Nope, just a costochondritis attack.)

Between the ages of 14-16, these got increasinly worse. By this time, I was measured as a 44DD. Yep, a 44DD bra at the age of 14. Much to my misery, believe me.

Shortly before I turned 16, the pain of these attacks, combined with the weight on the front of my chest, was turning towards back problems. I was very much hunching over to hide myself; I would get very self-conscious about these damn weights hanging from me. Unbound by a bra, they practically went to my knees.

It certainly wasn’t my fault I was cursed with these genetics, but to feel utter disgust at your own body is a rough thing to endure.

At the doctor’s office, discussing my worsening back pain, my doctor grew quiet. “You know, there is a procedure called a ‘breast reduction’. Have you ever considered that?”

I about fell off the examine table. I nearly screamed “DO IT! DO IT NOW!” but I was a little more restrained. After years of bottling up my desire to have said procedure done, it all came pouring out of me. I think I shocked the doctor and my mother on how much I already knew.

The first doctor mom and I checked into was a woman who practiced on the East side of Portland. Her office looked like it had literally been lifted out of Beverly Hills and set into the some-what worn hosptial building. We were ushered into a room and I was told to strip the top half of me and pictures would be taken.

Cue confusion.

Pictures were taken, photos of previous paitients were shown, very little discussion about repercussions or what would actually be done was made. It was like she had already operated on me and was just waiting for the insurance company to cut the check.

We were shown the door, looking dazed and confused at what had just happened.

A few days later, the insurance company called the house. They were confused as to why a doctor had just filed a claim, saying I was to immediately have this procedure, stood 5’6, and was age 21.

At the time I had barely turned 16, and I stand around 5’3, in my heeled boots.

The woman doctor had attempted to lie to my insurance to get them to pay her. God only knows what kind of botched job she would have done on me. Mom immediately informed them it was all lies and we put everything on hold.

I was miserable. My dream seemed snatched away.

School ended for the summer. We had a funeral to attend, a woman who had been like an adoptive grandmother to me. After the service we were talking to her daughter. Somehow my problem came up.

“Oh,” she said, grinning. “You want to see Dr. Busby. He did my procedure and I’m sure he could help you. They call him ‘no-scars’.”

Hope renewed, we made an appointment. I believe it was in June. We were welcomed in to a nice, warm office. No minimalist and coldness like the other office. Shown to a room, the doctor came in and greeted us.

He discussed the procedure, why women have it done, the risks and benefits. He showed me several albums of pictures, before and after of his patients. I wanted to cry. I wanted this done tomorrow!

Because I was only 16, I might be told I had to wait. Major surgery on a body still growing is risky. Seeing how miserable I was, how huge I was, how my health problems had started to mount, Dr. Busby said he was willing to operate.

I was taken in and shown a video about the prodecure, the before and after, and what risks there could be. Due to the size I was, and depending on how much they would take away, I wouldn’t ever be able to breastfeed.

I told them I didn’t care. I wanted to be healthy, and happy. If I ever did decide to have kids, that was a really long way off and I could deal with the consequences.

I think we went back for one more visit before the deal was made. In July I would get my wish.

In the nearly ten years since this was done, and considering I didn’t have a journal at the time, I’ve written and told this story several times. Some of the details are now hazy.

I remember we had to be there at 7am. We’d had dinner at Red Lobster with my godfather and his wife the night before. No food allowed after midnight. I’m pretty sure I slept. I wasn’t scared at all.

At the hosptial they checked me in and made me down a tiny antacid pill. A nurse attempted twice to put an IV in my arm, but ended up putting it in the back of my right hand. The nurse knew a kid I went to high school with. No one at school except my best friend knew how I was spending my summer vacation.

I sat around watching the funeral of a Portland police officer on the TV in the ward. Eventually the doctor came in and drew all over my breasts in green pen where he would make incisions, what would be removed, and everything else he would do.

That was a little odd.

I waited around some more. Finally it was time.

There’s something unnerving about laying in a bed and being wheeled down long, gleaming hallways with huge florescent lights overhead that blind you. We reached the OR and I had to scoot over to the table. Most undignified in a hospitial gown.

Someone asked me if I’d ever been to Disneyland. I don’t even know how we got started on that. I was talking about it, they put the mask over my face, I breathed in, I was out…

My own groans awakened me in the recovery ward. I kept putting my right arm above my head, sound asleep, and setting off the moniter that was watching my blood pressure. A nurse kept coming over and putting my arm down, but I kept doing it.

Some guy in the next bed over, seperated by a curtain, was talking on and on about a motorcycle. I kept drifting in and out. I could tell there was something extremely tight wrapped around my chest but I didn’t care.

Eventually I was awake enough to be moved to the room I would spend the night in. It was policy to spend the night. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t argue. An orderly barely 18, male and cute, pushed my bed up to my room.

That was embarassing. I looked like hell and just had my boobs done. Lord.

For the next four hours, any time I tried to move I puked. They made me get up to use the bathroom, which is procedure, and I puked.

You do not understand that your center of gravity changes drastically when you have this surgery. My head was spinning and I couldn’t balance for love nor money. (I have fantastic balance and this frustrated the hell out of me to no end. Also, I hate throwing up.)

Finally I lasped into sleep and the puking stopped. Mom settled in to watch the five channels on the TV and I dozed on and off. Every hour on the hour a nurse would appear and bug me, asking about pain and checking me over.

That night was one of the worst nights in my life. I wanted sleep but they were just doing their job, checking to make sure I wasn’t going to explode or fall apart.

My departure the next day was held up. Dr. Busby was late to remove the bindings and bandages, the drains that were to collect the blood and fluids. I was impaitent. For the first time in my 16 years I could cross my arms over my chest. Granted it was akward, being as I had mummy-like bandages around my chest, but I could do it.

Don’t ever take that simple act for granted again.

Eventually he arrived. One of my drains had basically wiggled its way loose during the night. Thankfully those were hospital sheets. He checked everything, all the sutures and stitches and signed the release papers.

If they would have let me I would have run out of there, I was so hyper and excited to finally be rid of my source of pain and self-consciousness. But they don’t. I had to be rolled out in a wheel chair.

But I was free.

It took nearly a year before the swelling subsided. For a while I thought he had just stappled rocks onto my chest because that’s how hard they were.

During the healing, one of the stitches that was supposed to dissolve popped through. It had to be pulled, which was a simple visit to the doctor, but that damn thing was painful. The stitches in my elbow reminded me.

In case you were wondering, he cut roughly 500 grams and a little more of tissue. From both. That’s over a pound of flesh from each. (Where’s Shylock?) It is amazing the difference two pounds make.

At that time I went from a 44DD to a 42B. I was the youngest patient he had ever performed the procedure on. And he really was ‘no-scars’; they’re there but you would have to know where to look. I’ve had no complications, a full recovery, and they’re basically the same. I’m probably a C now, but still. A C comapred to a DD?

I’d never go back.

I’m one of those people you have to literally shove into something. Think of it akin to a person being shoved out of an airplane and told to open their chute and survive on their own. You’ll find out very fast you can do something.

Okay, so maybe not as dramatic as that. But still. You have to shove me.

Let me take you back to when I was around 4. There is a local pool built on a lot adjacent to the high school. It is an indoor pool, of course (there are outdoor pools in Oregon but it’s a pretty weird sight) and mom signed me up for lessons.

I’m a rock solid Earth sign and happen to like my feet on terra firma thank you. But something about water has always fascinated me and any amount of time I can spend in water I love. (Which is usually in a sink. Mom used to have to go looking for me and she’d find me in the bathroom playing in the sink. I used to commandeer my grandmother’s kitchen sink for hours at a time with make-believe games in the sink. Freak.) Swimming was an excellent choice.

I can see flashes of this particular event in my mind’s eye very clearly. Some are rather hazy. What do you expect from a memory over 21 years old?

At the end of each lesson, the instructor would remove the large, low, flat metal stand that was sunk into the pool for us to stand on so we wouldn’t drown. Then we were to jump into the shallow end, dog paddle to the teacher, dog paddle to the wall and climb out. End of the lessons always went this way.

Even at the age of 4 I was a very… strong-willed person. I loved swimming (as you can guess) but I also loved going home.

One particular day, as we were lined up on the wet tile that surrounded the poolside, I encountered a roadblock to my plan of getting home a.s.a.p. I don’t remember his name, and barely remember that he was a scrawny blond boy who was wrapped around himself in a snivelling, shivering way.

He was next in line before me and refused to jump off the edge to end his lesson.

It probably wasn’t as long as I imagined it, being as a 4 year old really doens’t have much concept of time, but it was taking too damn long for him to get it over with. Didn’t he know he had nothing to fear? The teacher would catch him if need be! It wasn’t far! Besides, he’d just spent all the time in the water!

In a moment of frustration, I pushed him off the edge.

Yup. Four year old me had just pushed a child my age off the edge of a pool to get him going.

I stood there passively watching the kid flail in the water, freaking out and probably screaming, and wondering when the hell he’d get out so I could jump in and finish my lessons.

The teacher, a ever vigilant guy probably in his 20s, of course rescued my unwitting classmate and returned him to the safety of the poolside.

I, on the other hand, was escorted by the arm to the side of the pool near the office door and given a stern talk about water safety and how we ‘don’t push people into the pool, no matter what!’

My mother was sitting in the narrow catwalk-like balcony far above the pool. She had watched the whole scenario unfold. Pinned with the fearful realization that “oh my god my child just pushed another into the pool!?”

She eventually met me in the changing room, as I was dismissed without further ado, and escorted me home, praying the entire time that we would not run into the little boy’s mother. We didn’t.

Revenge came upon me many years later.

Around 7, again the summer swimming lessons were in full swing. Instead of being the impaitent, domineering child when it came to the pool, I was far more weary. We had moved into the middle of the pool, where my feet no longer touched bottom and it became quite apparent that you could drown in said water.

My teacher for these advanced lessons was Kurt. A typical 80’s college guy, who wore a Speedo and was never without his 1980’s style sunglasses. He had a different pair for every damn day. (We even bought him some with the American flag painted on them at a Fair later on, just because they were so Kurt.)

He was saddled with my fearful and wary ass every day for as many weeks as the class was. Constantly he would have to tell me “You can do that.” It probably would have been a lot easier to just hire him as a private tutor for swimming lessons, when I look back on it, because I was sorely hogging attention from the rest of the class.

Kurt got me to the point where I could jump off the edge of the pool, dive to the bottom to collect flimsy plastic rings, and generally not drown. Those foam kickboards were instantly glued in my grip and he’d have to pry them forcefully away to get me to do anything that required more then a dog paddle.

My mom begged the staff at the pool to let Kurt continue teaching me in the next level of classes, since he was apparently the only instructor who could get me to do anything other then grip the kickboard and float there. Eventually they relented and agreed to let me continue on to the next level in Kurt’s instruction.

There is actual home video of me during these swimming lessons. I am a chubby, blonde seven year old in a blue suit, drapped in an over-sized beach towel that belong to my dad at one point. Rubbing the water from my eyes and generally screaming “NO I DON’T WANT TO!” at various points until Kurt wheedled me to the point where I had to.

No, this is not the revenge of which I speak. But it’s coming up.

You see, Kurt only taught beginning swimming. At the end of those classes, there would be no more he could do. He knew this and had the foresight to find another teacher in the intermmediate classes that could handle me.

I believe her name was Karen. Honestly, I’d have to watch the home video to find out. She was also the typical college student, teaching bratty kids to swim for money on summer break. Her hair was short, kept that way probably for competitive swimming and she wore the tank suits that most swimmers wear.

She didn’t have the finesse that Kurt did when she wanted me to do something, but still, she got me to do it.

I was given empty Clorox bottles to use as floats and my beloved kickboard was taken away. We moved onto advanced swimming, like the “Dead Man’s Float”. I did remarkably well, as long as she pushed me.

To graduate this level of classes you had to do one thing: you had to jump off the high diving board.

I don’t like heights. Well, when you can see what’s below you and you’re about to jump off something, that I don’t like.

Karen was determined and matched me head on in stubborness. If I wanted to pass I had to jump. I tried to get her to let me jump from the side of the pool, because I could certainly handle that.

“The high dive or nothing,” was her reply.

The day came. The rest of the class jumped one by one off the diving board. Kurt watched with my parents as Karen climbed up behind me to the diving board and inched us out to its end.

Arms around me, she jumped us off into the waiting water.

I passed her class.

I would like to thank Kurt and Karen for putting up with me. In subsequent years I went on to be a decent swimmer, unafraid of the deep end. I frequently jumped from the diving boards (even the really high one once in the olympic-sized pool in town. My god what was I thinking?!) and could dive properly from the side of the pool. I could relatively pass any swimming test that was required for someone to swim in the deep end (I can’t swim a straight line doing the side stroke to save my life but I can do it!) and I even entertained going into synconized diving at one point.

I have not been in a pool since my teenage years, though. The fact that I was horrified at how I look in a swimming suit coupled with the fact that I have tattoos my parents do not know of have pretty much killed any chance of me being in a swimming pool. That and chlorine destroys my hair to straw.

Maybe one day I will return to the blessed water-filled adventures of my childhood.

For now, the kitchen sink is my playground once more.

In third grade, I experienced my first class “pet”.

Never before had any of my classes had a “class pet”. I’m not exactly sure why that was; maybe there was budget contraints or something. I wasn’t lacking in the pet department. At home I had Max, my faithful mutt I’d gotten for my 3rd birthday.

As it so happened, I transfered schools shortly after school had started. Roughly the beginning of October. Third grade is still rather a blur. I started at a private Catholic school, had my first mental breakdown and first episode of clinical depression (all at the age of eight!) and ended up being withdrawn and placed into the third grade class of a local Lutheran school. (We’re not Catholic or Lutheran, go figure.)

Miss Pomerenk’s class had a pet hamster. Named Twiggy. It (since I have no idea what gender it was and how you sex a hamster isn’t something I know) was mainly compsed of white fluffy fur with light brown patches and beedy little black eyes. By default we all refered to it as a ‘her’. I have my suspicions that the poor thing suffered gender confusion.

(Funny how things recycle along the path of life…)

Anyway, at the time, said Lutheran school was small. It was mainly housed in the building adjacent/attached to the main building that was the sanctuary. Somehow, the third grade class was big enough that it could not be crammed into any avalible room and we ended up in a portable in a side-yard.

I ended up spending two years of classes in that portable, but that’s another story.

Twiggy’s small square cage took up residence on the back counter of the one-room portable. Whether this was to keep us from spending all day staring at Twiggy, waiting for it to do something or to keep the smell at bay, who knows. Twiggy’s cage wasn’t interesting at all; no brightly coloured plastic tubes for it to climb through, no exotic looking sleeping box, nothing. I don’t even remember if it had a exercise wheel.

I do remember it had one of those self-dispensing waterbottle things, which I found rather interesting. God only knows why.

One day, probably after the first couple of morning lessons, it was noticed that Twiggy was M.I.A.

This was a one-room portable. We did have a coat closet, that had a storage closet adjoined to it but that was it. Twiggy had to be here or escaped into the wild unknowns of the courtyard. A frantic search ensued. Fellow students were interrogated as to who had last seen the damn hamster and had someone forgotten to lock the cage?

The search was fruitless. No one could turn up a tiny ball of fluff in what was a relatively small space. Worried, and fearing the worst, we returned to our lessons.

After lunch, someone noticed something on the floor. Something small, white/brown, and fluffy. Time has passed and I have forgotten exactly who noticed Twiggy’s triumphant return to our awareness, but it was loudly announced and everyone dove for the stupid hamster.

Twiggy retreated into its hiding place.

The counter where Twiggy’s cage was kept was built-in to the wall, complete with a floor-to-ceiling cabinet where we kept art supplies and paper. On the floor, at the base of said cabinet, was a hole.

A hole in the trim where someone hadn’t put moulding. A perfect hamster-sized hidey-hole.

If I remember correctly, Adam ended up luring Twiggy back out with food. It took some time, because every kid in the class had their attention focused on that little hole, waiting for the fuzzball to appear. Eventually the food was tempting enough and Twiggy returned, scooped up and returned to the safety of its proper cage.

The next year, when I was in the same portable for fourth grade, we didn’t have Twiggy. (I think we had little finches but my mind’s a little hazy on that.) As I understood it, Twiggy died.

Only, come to find out much later, that Adam had ended up with Twiggy. I found it living out its days in a brightly coloured plastic hamster enclosure in his room when I was over there. Twiggy had become extremely grouchy and tended to bite. I had no interest in attempting to hold it, like I had in third grade.

I’m sure Twiggy passed on shortly after that. I do have to thank it for making me realize that small rodents are not a pet I am interested in ever keeping. I would later find out that the same applied to rabbits, goldfish, rats, birds of any kind, turtles, and other small furry rodents/mammals.

Ironically, though, Twiggy the hamster was just the first “Twiggy” in my life. Little did I know what would be around the corner just six short years away…

Past, Present, & Future

June 2020


  • 37,923 piggies have marched here.