if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

how 'my doing? you got an hour, buddy?

This is the paired down quick review of the last week or so. We have been flip flopping about our living situation and have made a few trips to the west to look at potential rentals in the more art influenced and less poverty ridden Waitakere mountains. These trips are expensive as fuel is now about 2 dollars a liter (eight dollars a gallon for you metriciphobes). We first went to Huia which is a sleepy little community all cozy up to the huge bay of the Manukau harbor and some lovely grandiose hills. We looked at a homey little house/cottage and then tried to scope out another rental that a landlord wanted us to do a "drive by" on, only we didnt have the exact address, due to our silly secretary (me). We drove from Huia to an exquisitely remote beach, although we didn't get out due to a sleeping child. On the way back we encountered some animals busy in a scrum of sorts in the road. Upon closer look, we realized it was a young pig and two dogs in a struggle. I saw that the pig was about the size and color (black) of the kunekune pigs that people keep as pets in New Zealand. I felt for the little creature, getting tugged and chewed on by the muscley medium sized dogs. Something in me, an instinct that occasionally comes forth, moved me to get the dogs off of the poor thing. I told Jordan to stop the van. I opened the sliding door to get out and the pig headed straight for it, seeking refuse and surprising Lillian who was sitting on her booster seat in the back with me. I blocked the pigs entrance and hopped out of the van, leaving the van door open. I started demanding the dogs get off the pig. They looked at me, with a momentary confused tilt of heads and continued on with the torment. The poor little pig had one dog on his ear and another chewing on his trotters, which were bleeding. I scolded the dogs and stomped towards them. One ran away while the ear biter held tight. I picked up a half rotten stick and threw it at the dog/pig. Finally the dog let go and moved back towards the other dog. I then looked at the pig, who looked at me and for a second or two grunted and charged in my direction. I had on a big roomy colorful raincoat on which made me look larger than life. The pig either was intimidated by me or decided I was a lesser evil than the dogs and grunted and squealed and headed off towards the van, opposite the dogs. Jordan saw the encounter in his rear view mirror and saw the wild furious pig coming his way, with the door open and noone in the back seat but Lil to deter him if he still wanted to seek refuge in the van. By this time I was hollering at the pig telling it to get out and keep going! The pig, much to Jordan's relief, passed up the van and trotted on by squealing liberally, with his hair standing on end, all two or three inches of it in a tall inverted "v" shape on its back. (I didn't realize Pigs had hackles) I got back in the van and we rode on, reflecting on the incident. Jordan asked what the big collars on the dogs were, I hadn't even noticed them, but I knew from his question that they must have been hunting dogs. It was only a minute or two later when we wound around a curve in the road and there was the pig, only this time there were about 4 dogs on the poor thing, which was really squealing, now. There was a ute (New Zealand for 'pick up' or other personal utility vehicle) with an irate man, angrily pulling his dogs off the pig and trying to get them back to the vehicle. We had stopped the van and were gawking unwittingly. He moved the beast, who at this point wasnt dead, but it was clear that he was soon to be, to the side of the road. we trickled up towards him and he paused from his dog control to show us his pest control license. It was all becoming a bit more clear to me. I asked Jordan to roll down his window and I yelled through it that Oops, i had chased off his dogs who were attacking the pig. He said they were two thousand dollar animals and had been trained not to ever touch the pigs. Well, I explained, I thought it was a pet kunekune pig, due to the smallish size. He looked at me, with some astonishment and asked me if Id harmed the dogs, No, Jordan said, we just "shooed" them. Again he looked at us a little sideways (sort of as his dogs had) He asked us where we were from and Jordan and I answered at the same time, but with different answers. Jordan said we were "just from Auckland" while I said we are from San Juan Island, not far from Seattle, as I think he had asked because of our accents. He seemed to want to talk more but had to press on to find his two lead dogs. I had scared them out of radar, apparently. I realized how foolish I had been, although I'm glad I did what I did. I think the pig got my advocacy as a parting gift, even though he did meet with a grim end.
The wild pigs eat up anything and everything that they find, from worms and grubs in the roots of the forest to eggs of various birds, to even large rats. The cause a lot of havoc for farmers and erosion in the steep hillsides of the mountainous area. They were brought here by settlers a long time ago. Ive seen dead ones on the side of the road (much larger, though) and seen plenty of hunting vehicles and dogs in my travels. The government pays the pest control bill for the pigs. I hope there is some meat somewhere in the equation, someone should make use of the loss of life. I must have repulsed my vegetarian readers, by now- sorry. It was a hair raising experience for the pig and I, there were probably hairs standing on end in the van, too, I cant be sure though. Lillian has reflected on the incident several times.

That being said, Ill enumerate a few other morsels of this week. I had signed up for a doll making workshop with my favorite teacher and friend Claire Inwood, but, alas, I am not there do to my aggravated ear infection (so much for that whip cracking swimming routine) I have some sub tropical anaerobic bacterial thing going on and an unfortunate series of diagnoses inconsistencies which has now been complicated by cellulites. My ear and neck are very sore and swollen and Ive been on antibiotics and pain med's for most of the week. Down time. I missed the deadline of a writing class assignment, but did get a play written and submitted. Hopefully I can get my money back for the workshop. A hundred dollars is a lot these days. The kids have been sick as well. It may have been that they accompanied me to the clinic and got inoculated there. Jordan is on his own Jordan fest with his new teaching role and has barely noticed our ailments. I had to point out that I hadn't been able to eat or sleep for three days and that he may have to alter his schedule. I wish he was a better nurse, sometimes. Thank you, Mom, for teaching me how to nurture a sick person, do you , by any chance, give lessons?

Nina had her own disturbing news including a schoolgirl outfit and a ride in a police car.
There, I tattled on everyone!

That feels better, I think, I hope.
Remember if you want a retouched version of life, your at the wrong blog, baby.
So there you have it.
This week in a nutcase shell

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