Meerkat Manor South Philly-Style

I saw two episodes of Animal Planet's pathos-filled Meerkat Manor and was startled to discover that I currently live with three meerkats of my own. They burrow into things, shake their tails when they are threatened, run around crazily with no seeming purpose, eat bugs, and have a definite hierarchy of power. In the meerkat kingdom, the female is often the dominant leader; it's essentially a matriarchy. The episodes I watched featured Flower, a worn-down looking female who led the pack, deciding who was accepted and who was vetoed. Meet Emma Carol. She does the same thing. Though she is the smallest of the three, she's definitely the most vocal and the most aggressive. To wit, she likes to sleep on the red chair. The other day, Ernesto decided he wanted to lay in it. EC jumped up too, trying to take up as much space as possible to get him to jump down. He did not. So, she attacked him, first gently, but then, when he didn't take the hint, she got down to business until tufts of white hair were floating around the living room. She won and has owned the chair ever since. At bedtime, she does the same thing, taking up as much space as possible and hissing at anyone in her wimpy-sounding sssssss! (including me) until she can stretch out to her heart's desire. Consequently, I have been sleeping on the floor, curled up on a tiny pillow. I believe she will lead our family toward great things or, at the very least, make sure that other meerkats don't move in on our turf (such as the marble colored stray I've been feeding every morning).

Went to Boot Camp again today and Stephanie and I both left the class looking as if we had just taken a shower. Still, there is something satisfying about sweating so much; drops of sweat sliding down your back, your neck, I think my elbow was even perspiring. I think these classes are impacting my dreams. I dreamt the other night that I could easily do a split and was showing everyone at work how agile I'd become. This will never happen. Oh, and last night, I dreamed that I was auditioning for the musical Annie. I decided I would sing a bit from "Hard Knock Life" (this directly correlates with the hip-hop music I've been listening to, believe it or not). But when I got to the audition, I discovered that we all had to watch each other and it made me really nervous. For some reason, I was auditioning for a part of one of the orphans. My competition included a bunch of polished ten year olds. Luckily, the dream shifted before I could embarrass myself.

Okay, before I forget, I have to say a little something about this Monday class Molly and I are taking. Our teacher is extremely theatrical and rambles and talks about herself quite a lot, focusing mostly on how though she's technically a senior citizen, she is still an active, sexual being. I suspect she is hoping to seduce one of the young men in our class. The best thing ever would be if she snagged this young guy (let's call him Bud) who said the following in our last meeting (I stopped listening to her and just wrote down what he said after she confessed to all of us that she was a little muddled from all the pain pills she was on):

*Oh, wait, I have to mention a couple of things Bud mentioned in his presentation the second week. He managed to tell all of us how he found the female form to be like an art object; the most beautiful thing in the world. He also mentioned how the other most beautiful thing was the ability to make love. If you know me at all, you know that I hate that phrase "make love." I've never understood it. Maybe that's my main problem, but I don't like when people romanticize sex in that way. It takes the fun of it. Anyway, what his feelings about women had to do with Daisy Miller were never explained, though it did become clear that he is single and looking.

*The teacher asks about the use of the color yellow in The Awakening. He says, "Doesn't yellow symbolize friendship?"

*The teacher quotes the line in the text about how you can't love someone all the time. Bud is appalled. He is a true romantic. He believes that love conquers all and that true love never, ever, never dies, even if your partner is bugging the shit out of you. He finally says, "Well, let's just say we agree to differ. Can we do that? Can we just agree to disagree?" I mean, this is fine, but he wasn't getting the point that the central character in the novel, Edna, does not love her husband and only thinks she loves this other guy, Robert. That's one of the central truths in the novel and that's what we were discussing, but he was insistent that regardless of what the novel was arguing, he didn't personally believe it. WHO CARES?

*One of this arguments in this vein was to point out how Jesus loved everyone all the time. The teacher said, "Oh, are you talking about Christian mythology about how Jesus is the son of God?" (Many points for her). He said, "Well, we share 99 percent of Jesus' DNA, you know." This is a graduate class.
I wish I would've thought to ask him what the other 1 percent consisted of. Angel feathers?

The class got out of hand when the teacher posed the question about how you can keep a marriage alive. She suggested sex toys. We had derailed. Bud ducked his head and began drawing crucifixes in the margins of his notebook. Can't wait to see what happens next Monday when we discuss Heart of Darkness. He'll likely say something obvious like, "I thought the river might have been symbolic. Like, I thought it symbolized 'water' and how Jesus turned water into wine."

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