Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer's Last Days

It may be the last of August but we still have a few fun-filled days left. Photo by Andi.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Mallory is a fictional comic book character sometimes depicted as a mercenary or anti-hero, who appears in books published by Marvel Comics, usually in the X-Men family of titles. Created by artist Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza, Mallory first appeared in The New Mutants #98 (February 1991).

Nicknamed the "Merc with a Mouth," Mallory is a high-tech mercenary known for his wisecracks, black comedy, and satirical pop-culture references. Like the X-Men's Wolverine, Mallory is the product of the Canadian government's paramilitary Weapon X program, although his place of birth is unknown. After Weapon X cured his terminal cancer by implementing a regenerative "healing factor" extracted from Wolverine, Mallory is left disfigured and mentally unstable.

Mallory was originally an adversary of The New Mutants and later X-Force, developing an infatuation with X-Force member Siryn. Mallory received two limited series: "Sins of the Past" and "The Circle Chase." He graduated to an ongoing series in 1997, which was known for its slapstick tone and willingness to break the fourth wall.

Mallory shares many similarities with the DC Comics villain Deathstroke, particularly in regards to the character's costumes, professions (mercenary/assassin), and real names. However, since Mallory's introduction, Mallory and Deathstroke have developed in vastly different directions. Mallory will appear in the upcoming 2009 film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" in which he will be played by Ryan Reynolds.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sammy Beckett

Because he's cute and today's his birthday.

When I came back from New Orleans, I thought I would never feel right again. I had been taken outside of my comfort zone like never before. We stayed in the deserted city even though we weren't supposed to on the second floor of the house with a generator. It was like the wild wild west. People were driving around after dark – even though there was a curfew – with guns looking to rob houses. Food was scarce. We couldn't bathe. Everyone's possessions were being pulled out into the street for trash pick up. Dogs ran wild in packs throughout the city and reminders of animal suffering were everywhere.

I did the most I could but I hurt. I came home and everyone sat outside my Adams Morgan Starbucks and walked their dogs and I wanted to tell them, your life is not secure. This could be gone tomorrow. All of it.

And then, 10 days later, while sitting in my office, I heard a sound like a bird's and looked outside my window. It was that day I found Sammy, a small orange and white 2-pound deserted kitten. He was wailing and it took me two hours to catch him, but I finally brought him inside. Over the next three weeks, I nursed him. He had coccidia, worms, fleas, ear mites and needed all kinds of medicine. He's now a happy healthy full grown cat. The vet estimated he was was born on August 29, the day New Orleans flooded.

I am an existentialist intellectually and I think we are all pagans emotionally, but I know God gave me this cat. It is through him I was able to heal.

Support your local animal shelter, the Humane Society or the SPCA. They continue to do good work and animals everywhere need you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just One Block

These photos were taken within a one block radius. Later that day, Paul and I went in search of an open grocery store and discovered an entire neighborhood of forgotten pets … cats sitting on porch fronts, dogs hysterical and missing all of their hair. Maybe some of them were strays. I still suffer for these animals while I write this post. I gave them all of our canned tuna, wrote down the address, and became obsessed with helping them.
From my cell phone, I called the Friendship Animal Hospital in Washington, DC and Jennifer Trujillo called someone she knew with the Humane Society who went down the very next day to see about the dog. The owner had "been hit hard" but was coming back to take care of his pets. The dog would be okay.
Eventually, I received confirmation that food and water stations had been set up for the cats. I don't know who came through for them, but thank you to everyone who listened to me. I emailed every organization, called anyone I thought might care, and talked to everyone I met while in the city.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gone to Texas

When I got out of the truck to take this photo, I almost stepped on a dead cat. Big, like my cat Oscar, with his mouth wide open and his cat fangs gasping for air, I presume.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Animal Rescue

The woman who drove this van lives in New York. One week after the flood, when we were all watching the misery of the Superdome on TV, she got into her car and drove to New Orleans. She fed animals through windows until the water went down and then she set up feeding stations throughout the city. She said at first the stench was so bad even the birds evacuated. And she told me, the big dogs were eating the small dogs in order to survive. It wasn’t pretty but she was and I admire her proactivity to this day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Carrie of New Orleans

This woman stands proudly by her shoes. She took me upstairs to show me all of the matching dresses. Her husband was pulling down the dry wall inside their house. The black mold was everywhere and they didn’t have insurance.

They also showed me the roof top where his brother sat for three days while the water rose. He didn’t want to leave their dogs. Finally he had no drinking water and he had to get in the canoe that came to rescue him. He left the dogs upstairs with a lot of food. When they came back the small dog was okay. They don’t know what happened to the two big dogs.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Searching for ... Buttons

Three years ago this Friday, Katrina hit, the levee broke and New Orleans flooded. I went down to help with the clean up six weeks later. This photo looks like the 1930s depression era but it’s October 2005 and this woman is looking for her cat Buttons. She and her brother had to leave in a hurry when the city was evacuated and they couldn’t find their cat. As it turns out Buttons climbed up under the house and when the water rose, she couldn’t get down.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Leandro: Son of ZUMA!

Born in the jungles of the Visayan Islands, he comes from a long line of Tikbalang hunters. Captured by a tribe of Manananggals during the War of the Viscera Suckers, he escaped by disguising himself as a kapre. He now lives in exile in Washington, DC, working as a mild mannered graphic designer for a local news station, waiting for the right opportunity to return to the Land of the Morning to claim his rightful place at the throne of Berbania!


Jason was born a long, long time ago in a log cabin located just outside of the Log Cabin Syrup Company's log cabin shaped factory. Taken at an early age with a love for Lincoln Logs and Canadian Maple Syrup, Jason decided to become a door-to-door vaccuum cleaner salesman. When his mother explained to him what a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman is and does, Jason instead decided to become the WORLD'S GREATEST DANCER.

After many years of watching such high-quality programs as Fame, Solid Gold, Soul Train, and the movie I'm Gonna Git You Sucka everyday of his life until he was 28 his parents made him move out he decided to forge his own destiny and move to the city of Nodance, KY to make his dreams happen. Unfortunately, as he later found out, there was no need for a dancer in Nodance, KY because years earlier the town had banned dancing like in that Kevin Bacon movie Footloose.

Defeated momentarily but still hoping to pursue his dream of dance, Jason moved to Breakaleg, Idaho where, after a brief and scandalous affair now known as the bologna sandwich incident, he came to work at LOU'S A-GO-GO-DANCE BARN SPECTACULAR. And it's there where you can find him six nights a week on the main stage ... after closing time sweeping the floors while dancing to Kenny Loggins and giving a thumbs up that seems to say, "Hey, I'm alright! Nobody worry 'bout me."


A writer by day and DJ by night, Melanie is a walking contradiction. She hates people but adores gatherings. She loves animals – as both pets and for dinner. She is very disciplined and will only drink on days ending in “y.” Her favorite saying? “It could be worse. You could be on fire.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Avatar

Go to face your manga to create your own avatar. And then send me your story and image to post online. I can be reached at leslieinadamsmorgan (at) gmail (dot) com. Your story doesn't have to be true but make it good. Fiction is fun.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tender is the Night (1934)

It took me a month to read Tender is the Night, mostly because I was involved in buying a condo and had a lot of big decisions to make, but also because the first third of the novel was difficult to get through, and by the time the conversation picked up I was already tired of the book.

BUT … in the end Nicole and Dick Diver are living characters. I was actually sad to let them go. I know many say this is Fitzgerald’s novel about Zelda, about his “personal tragedy” as Hemingway was supposed to have called it. To me, it's about a woman who gets out. Something in the tradition of The Yellow Wallpaper but a story with a happier ending.

Nicole is sexually abused by her father and suffers an emotional break. When she marries Dick she enters into the relationship as a sick and inferior partner. The relationship is arranged so that he’s taking care of her and she has no authority over her person. As the story progresses, Nicole is more and more dependent upon Dick for her sense of self worth but his cure is not always compatible with her becoming an emotionally strong person.

For example, when Nicole discovers that Dick took part in an indiscretion, she reacts as any wife would – upset, distant, and deceived. Dick manipulates the situation so that it’s Nicole’s unstable behavior that’s failing instead of his own. Finally as Dick himself succumbs to illness, when he’s drinking too much and arguing with everyone, Nicole leaves the marriage. Dick again takes control of events and acts as if Nicole’s departure were part of his plan all along, still not allowing his wife to have a sense of self-determination!

But in the end Nicole does leave, for a happier life, and it’s nice to read book where the woman doesn’t have to commit suicide or go insane in order to find peace with herself.

Click on the link to find out more about this book.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Searching for ... Books

Today I'm going to take a big stack of books to Second Story Books for trade value. Located within walking distance of the Dupont Circle Metro Station at 2000 P Street, they offer a good selection of used books of all kinds.

If you don't find what you want, and can't wait, Kramerbooks, also within walking distance at 1517 Connecticut Ave, may be able to help you. Open all night on the weekend, they also provide indoor and outdoor cafe seating with real food not just coffee drinks. Take a look at their online menu. (Try not to look at their Web design, though.)

Politics & Prose, not as easy to get to, but worth the trip, is another option for books in the Washington, DC area. Further up the red line, or on the L4 bus route, this bookstore at 5015 Connecticut Ave, frequently hosts well-known author events.

Support small, local and independent!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Maryam's Maze (2007)

I shame-les-lie asked for this book after offering to a do a major favor for my sister. And, sure enough, it came to me straight from Egypt.

I'll need to read "Maryam's Maze" a second time to better appreciate the novel but don't think the question of whether the protagonist is alive or dead, sane or crazy, will be answered. Moving forward, and backwards, through dreams, memories, and a confused reality, Mansoura Ez-Eldin's story is a fascinating read. Her creation of a struggling spirit-double is especially eerie and well done.

When I go to Egypt next, I'll ignore my promise not to buy any books. This one's beautifully made ... It's saddle-stitched the real way with thread and the paper is high quality with a good weight, finish and opacity. Just holding the little book added to my reading pleasure.

To find on amazon: Maryam's Maze (Modern Arabic Literature)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Mortal Enemy (1926)

Willa Cather’s My Mortal Enemy explores the extreme personality. I’ve known people like Myra Henshawe. Interesting to be around, a little intriguing, but selfish and unfair and quick to end the friendship when it no longer serves them well. In the end, Myra’s enemy is herself and she's the one who prevents herself from happiness. And so it goes.

Click on the link to find out more about this book.