Angela Bocage

Taboos Which Aren’t Anymore

Wear white after Labor Day! Wear whatever colors you like, when it pleases you.

Michael Vick gets away with murder–and a real man who saves lives

Straight up, I don’t really read Sports Illustrated, but CNN-SI online,  in George Dohrmann’s article “The House on Moonlight Road” lays out simple, stark facts about the small black buildings in the woods behind the Vick property . Behind this respectable-looking, spacious property in Smithfield, Virginia, the little black buildings, hardly visible in the daytime among the trees, wouldn’t have been noticed at all at night. There, Michael Vick either ran or supported what I would call a torture chamber where sentient, sensitive creatures were bled and injured and murdered for men’s enjoyment, their “sport.” The article is far more objective than I am. It quotes not only investigating officer Kathy Strouse, but athletes, NFL officials, and HSUS authorities. The latter, interestingly, admit that well before Kathy Strouse went to Moonlight Road they knew that both the NFL and NBA harbor many more such murderers; one sports figure, who insists his pit bull dog is a “pet,” nevertheless affirms his understanding that sooner or later, hey, a guy’s just gonna wanna know how tough is dog is.  So, in the scenario that was repeated hundreds upon hundred of times on Vick’s property and others, he’ll force her to fight until she kills another dog or is torn and damaged to the point where the “guy’s” part of the drama is clear: no, he won’t get her to an emergency hospital! He’ll kill her, of course, as cruelly as possible, to distance himself from her “weakness.” This article is not sensationalistic or exploitive, and author George Dohrmann is to be strongly commended for that clarity, and especially for having  the guts to include words and actions from a true real-life hero, the animal control officer Kathy Strouse.  A member of the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force, it was Strouse’s deductions which put the evidence into perspective, deductions based on observations over 22 years as an officer, expert witness, and teacher of animal officers throughout the country.  Her knowledge made crystal clear what so many would love to call murky, controversial, confusing. Confusion is so convenient at times–the forces of oppression and cruelty, and their sympathizers in the media, love to find reasons for it.

Kathy Strouse isn’t the only hero I’d like to focus on, however. I know how often we’re importuned by causes seeking our support, petitions to be signed that get buried in the incoming junk mail or forgotten in the rush to work, to do the laundry, change the baby, write that letter, all the rush of our wonderful messy lives. But to wash the evil taste of fear and death away, please take a look at Eric Ardia of Smilin’ Pitbull Rescue ( ) . Eric has been doing what he does–rescuing, transporting, fostering, caring for, these loyal, silly, loving high-personality dogs, and the huge huge invisible work of organizing that includes so many phone calls, introductions, connections, lists and time–for eight years, and his site explains why it honors his late sister, an environmentalist and educator. Look at the glow in those big ol’ pitbull faces when they know they are loved and wanted! The goofy antics of one of his rescues, Precious! And see Mighty, the vulnerable little pup that almost didn’t make it, as he gains strength and spirit. And then click on Smilin’ Pitbull Rescue’s laconically-named “Anti-Vick” button. If you can donate, or buy a t-shirt, or tell people about this site, please do it. But it’s so easy to add your name to the petitions. I’ve shared that mushy-mush picture of a “real man”–in the very best sense it can be–huggin’ his pittie with loads of folks today.

Because the most Michael Vick can be punished at this writing is five years in jail. That’s what I mean by getting away with murder. And unless he’s banned from US football, a pro team will hire him, my football experts tell me–he’ll have won on both fronts and the world will be that much safer for cruelty and callousness. Eric Ardia sets a counter example, of honor, of love, and of hard work. That’s the kind of guy I want my son and my friends’ sons to look up to.


Unpopular Opinions

Nutella is not that good.

a yam by any other name

Ex-gf was lunching w her top-attorney-in-all-the-land-in-her-specialty Mentor. Ms. Mentor is bemoaning the lack of quality help compared to way back when ex-gf was her law clerk.

Mentor: They give me people like “Bob” [probably not his real name]. He’s already bilged outta two other practice groups! Then they sent him to a satellite office. And the satellite office sent him back! Oy. I mean, he’s a sweet guy–”

Spouse: Hmm, when I was a wee lass, saying “sweet guy” in that tone was my Daddy’s way of intimating “dumb as a yam.”

Mentor: Ahh, but don’t insult the yams. They have growth potential!

So Don’t Insult the Yams.

Reading like a kid

Juvenile reading is fun. At the train station closest to home there is a very nice lady working most mornings who shows you pictures of her grandchildren, leaves out bowls of peppermints, and, thank Goddess, has three or four cardboard boxes of recycled reading labeled with simple directions to take whatever books you want and leave your own unwanted books. What a splendid idea for a train station! I got Clive Barker’s Imajica there. It’s lots of fun! An out author, hallucinogenically beautiful or grotesque settings, realistic sex, and–so far–a near-Aristasian perception of women and men as different species. Everyone else read that in high school, or undergrad at the latest. The first how-to-draw-canines books I found that weren’t $150 vet school texts were kid-directed (and not very good). And, after running into quotes from them in twenty-two places this summer, I finally obtained used copies of those dorm-room faves I didn’t read in college, Principia Discordia and The Illuminatus Trilogy. Not to mention one of the biggest events of the summer–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coming out! My fellow young lady attorneys at the office and I were fully prepared to do serious harm to anyone who’d think it amusing to tell us anything about it prematurely, but fortunately no blood had to be shed.


My mom to little me: wash your ears carefully, it’ll teach you how to draw ears.

A great tattoo!

Ripe tomatoes with the tomatoey goodness one can’t find in the store (this side of Santa Cruz, CA)…fresh catnip that our felines love…cilantro, parsley, rosemary, peppermint, cayenne peppers, the odd beautiful flower, chamomile, and soon-to-be pumpkins and watermelons! As Peter Bagge’s Buddy Bradley said of sex, “It’s so easy and fun!” Gotta start clipping lots of the herbs to dry since it’s August already.

Unable to work on much besides the “farm,” because my precious son is here, looking all buff and amazing thanks to his hard work lifting and exercising, and we’re doing a lot more of that here. He’s kindly and patiently taught me everything I forgot from high school gym class about basketball, and I’m having fun playing it with him; even if I still have a tendency to cover my head and squeal if I don’t know where the ball flew to, if I stand where he tells me to I make lots and lots and lots of baskets! We’re also hiking and stretching and lifting weights, it’s great.

Last weeked in this beeeeyyooootiful art house in Jersey City my most wonderful tattoo artiste Denise de la Cerda ( did some lovely work on my right sleeve and I trimmed her dog, Tashi. Tashi-dog is like a smaller German Shepherd with the fur of a and size of cocker spaniel/sheltie and has the sweetest honeybrown eyes. Denise calls me Tashi’s biological mother cz when she was a tiny puppy being dumped on the JC pound, I happened to be volunteering the day we picked her and her littermates up. Damn, it was love, it was fate–she was Gabrielle for her 1st fifteen months, going to Hamilton Park in JC and Puppy Kindergarten at St. Hubert’s and playing with Berry all day all crazy; but Tashi means sump’m cool in Tibetan Buddhist, I forget what, so she’s Tashi now and she loves Mom Denise totally. She also behaves unbelievably way better for her than she used to for me–my spouse called her “the rocket without fins” when she was a puppy, but: she was a puppy, hello! So it was great to see her as well as the delightful Denise, even if Tash really didn’t like the trimmer. Biting at it, she reminded me of herself as a bitty pup biting at the hairdryer after her bath.

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