03.12.13

PITA, October 2002-March 2013

Posted in Life at 6:05 pm by

Requiēscat in pāce
Requiēscat in pāce

To say that dogs and I have had a troubled relationship would be to put things mildly. Whether it was extremely early childhood trauma from Tribbie eating my Bristle Blocks (and whatever else of mine he could get his teeth on while we lived with the Hoods) or something else I can no longer remember, dogs and I have had an adversarial relationship nearly my entire life. There have been, to date, but two exceptions: the late Sam Beauregard the basset hound, faithful companion of the Danes, and my brother’s first dog, PITA.

My brother rescued PITA from rising water in the cave where he was born (beginning PITA’s life-long aversion to bodies of water, no matter how small or shallow) and brought the new puppy home, where he grew up to be a friendly, loyal, kind, and fiercely protective dog. He loved to sit and watch the birds eat and to howl with the fire, police, and ambulance sirens (there is a fire station only a few blocks away, as the crow flies, and it is rumored that his father was part Dalmatian), but he also would never fail to defend the women of the family from any perceived threat (most often other dogs encountered on walks). But PITA is also the animal who knew, each time, that one of my grandparents had died, and did his best to comfort me. What more could one ask for in a dog?

Good-bye, my friend; I’ll miss you.

PITA, Fall 2002
PITA, Fall 2002

PITA, June 2003
PITA, June 2003

PITA minds the store, August 2003
PITA minds the store, August 2003

PITA's first birthday, October 13, 2003
PITA’s first birthday, October 13, 2003

PITA with his daddy at his first birthday, October 13, 2003
PITA with his daddy at his first birthday, October 13, 2003

PITA waits for a treat, September 19, 2005
PITA waits for a treat, September 19, 2005

PITA watches his brothers, October 23, 2010
PITA watches his brothers, October 23, 2010

PITA with his blanket, February 2013
PITA with his blanket, February 2013

PITA in the sun, February 2013
PITA in the sun, February 2013

01.16.13

جامية حلب

Posted in Life, السياسة at 5:16 pm by

If you look at my undergraduate transcript, you will see from the summer of 1997 two course credits from the University of Aleppo. While in Aleppo (as part of the since-discontinued “Summer in Syria” program of the National Council on US-Arab Relations), we resided on campus and lived in the university dorms.

My anger is seething at those responsible for the cowardly act of targeting a university, and, worse, doing so during final exams yesterday.

My heart is weeping for the students and people of Aleppo and their families.