Thursday, February 26, 2015

This Way to the Anders Museum!

Twenty years have passed since the glory days of the Anders Museum.

Back then, it was really a labor of love for the three of us: me, my brother, and some kid named Eric who lived down the street. Anders wasn’t actually Eric’s last name, but he’d given up his museum naming rights in exchange for the official title of “Lead Snake Wrangler,”  which was an irresistibly impressive title to a nine-year old.

And over the door of my parents’ garage, we put up a sign that read, “Museo de Anders,” which we thought was Latin but turned out to be Spanish. We charged the neighbors four bits to come inside.

Now, what that four bits bought you was a chance to have a peek at some of the coolest animals native to the Texas Gulf coast region.  We had snakes! We had toads! We had turtles of every kind: big red ear sliders and little red ear sliders, alligator snapping turtles, three-toed box turtles, and soft shells. You could also see a lizard, some garden spiders, Eric’s pet gerbil, and the bones of a cat we’d accidentally dug up in our back yard.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Phantom Fins of Pharmacology

What’s that? You say you’re scared? Of course you are scared.

We’re all scared. Every one of us is. Sure, we all sit around laughing but we’re terrified – trembling in our boots, really – and it all has to do with the fish.

And why wouldn’t we be scared of the fish?  I mean, just look at what we’ve been doing to them: Overfishing to the point of population depletion. Toxins in the waters. Dead oceanic zones. Dead delta zones. Generations of Bettas just flushed away by irresponsible first graders.

Try to imagine it!

Can you?


Well, it’s happening!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Brave Girl Who Asked for Help

Children need role models, I am told, and this is why I am always telling my own kids so many stories. All of the time, in fact. You know: Myths, fables, fairy tales, with characters that embody some personal characteristic I’d like my kids to see and to emulate, maybe.

So someday – not today, but someday! – I will tell them a story about my old friend, Michelle. I will tell them about a time when Michelle was very scared but also very brave and knew to go and to ask others for help.

I will tell my kids the Story of the Brave Girl Who Asked for Help.

Michelle was brave because she knocked on my door without calling ahead. She was brave because, when I answered the door, she just pushed her way on in.