27 April 2009

And Now, a Poem. Sort of.

I spent a lot of my weekend visiting a good friend of mine, and her utter snob of a cat. The cat in question (who, I should point out in defence of my friend's taste, arrived in our lives with her name already firmly intact) spent much of the weekend whining at us in typical theatrical cat fashion. I'm inside. I'm hot. Feed me. My fur is touching me. Pet me. Stop petting me. Why are you staring at me? Etc. Late yesterday evening, after just enough gins and tonic (gin and tonics just sounds wrong), I composed a song in her cranky honour, to be sung to the tune of Don McLean's "Vincent".

"Xena (Furry, Furry Night)"

Furry, furry night
Paint your kitty blue and grey
Take her on a holiday
Go through the garden underneath the fence

Furry, furry night
Patterns in her stripey fur
Listening to hear her purr
As she sheds her coat upon your couch

Now I understand
Why you sit there hating me
How you suffer the stupidity
Of humans who won't set you free

We cannot not listen
We do not know how
While you stare and say, "Meow!"

Furry, furry night
Paint your kitty blue and green
Put her in a soup tureen
And set it on the sunny window sill

Now I understand
Why you sit there hating me
How you suffere the stupidity
Of humans who won't set you free

We could not listen
We did not know how
We thought you said, "Meow!"

10 April 2009

One Man

One of my students invited me to photograph her final project for her Communications class. She and several other students traveled to Center City Philadelphia (an area with which I am only moderately familiar, mostly as home to the Reading Terminal Market and packet pick-up for the Philadelphia Marathon) for an experimental project in nonverbal communication: free hugs. Technically speaking, there was both verbal and nonverbal communication here, as they were both speaking and holding up signs with words written on them, but that wasn't the subject of their experiment. What they were interested in was how ordinary people would react to being offered a hug by a total stranger. Coincidentally, they chose to carry out this experiment on Good Friday.

The title of this post is a homonym for the man who began this campaign in Sydney, Australia--Juan Mann. That is not, to the best of my knowledge, a pseudonym. That is his actual name.

Scenes from the City of Brotherly Love

The free hugs crew sets up outside City Hall.

Bethann bends down for a little stroller action.

Heather gets a surprise!

John from Texas.

Something that doesn't happen nearly enough.

Lennon makes some new friends....

...who borrow our signs....

...and make friends of their own.

Diane and friend.

Bethann and Lennon.