Thursday, October 10, 2002

The Naming of Cats

I'm looking for a condo in Franklin, Brentwood, or Bellevue. Once safely ensconced therein, I shall obtain two cats, and their names shall be (if suitable to their personalities
Bunny (to be said in low growly voice with the emphasis on "Bun")
Kotatsu Neko (from Urusei Yatsura, an older anime comedy series by the creator of Maison Ikkoku; a human-sized white cat (neko) with black patches who always sat at one of those low table-warmers (kotatsu) with the blanket hanging from the edge - like the one in Kyoto's apartment)
I don't want matching names, like "Fish" and "Chips" or "Mr. Darcy" and "Elizabeth"; no, they must be unrelated and equally absurd. There can be a minor common theme; for example, cats are partial to both fish and bunnies. I'm not entirely satisfied with Bunny or Kotatsu Neko. I feel the need for something on another tangent entirely, perhaps literary or historical. I don't want both names to be French, unless it's too good a word to pass up and has the required cool French pronunciation. I'd like something Japanese, really.
It has to engender a certain implied cuteness, either by the extreme stupidity or unsuitability of the word; but also have a soothing hiss or easily repeatable syllables. "Pwa-sohn" works beautifully in that regard. I'm partial to "Brown Cow" or "Smudge" but they don't inspire or make you clap your hands with glee.
October 15, 2002
Now the names are "Poisson" and "Aunt Ada Doom" from Cold Comfort Farm, one of my favorite books/movies. Although "Jiji" from "Kiki's Delivery Service" will be considered if I get a black cat! 
December 17, 2002
Now the names are "Poisson" and "Pigwidgeon" from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

May 11, 2003
No, I don't care for "Pigwidgeon" anymore... I'm thinking of "Jambon," the French for "ham" or 'Lapin," for "bunny". "Poisson" is still a definite.

June 24, 2003
OK, I'm back to "Bunny" and "Poisson". The bunnies have returned to the field behind my apartment for the summer, and they are TOO cute! It's the Hello Kitty enthusiast in me that adores the cute and kitschy. But never Precious Memories knickknacks. No no no no no. The cat named Bunny will, of course, have to Hop and Bounce upon occasion.

Fall, 2003
Finally, I have found the unchangeable second name. It is to be "Poisson" and "Laddoo." Laddoo are South Asian sweets; sortof like the Indian version of a cookie. They're perfectly round and fat, very dense with sugar and grainy flour, and I have seen them many times in Bollywood films. I just love the way 'laddoo' rolls off the tongue. Now, having solidified the names, I have to actually GET the cats!

Tuesday, September 10, 2002


Mark Twain once said that "Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don't even know if you owe." I have spent a great deal of my life worrying about what lies ahead of me, and dwelt much on the possibilities of leukemia, diabetes, paraplegia and acute appendicitis. Yet in my life, despite a weight problem, I have been disgustingly healthy. I rarely take sick days, and when I do, it is usually from exhaustion. Lack of sleep, for me, is the equivalent of illness. [Brief pause for the parents of small children to stop their hysterical laughter…]
But despite my robust health, I have been a worrier, and in my senior year of high school finally developed the one thing it had not occurred to me to worry about - depression. In the years following, depression has come and gone in various cycles lasting from 2 days to 3-4 months, with months to years of relative contentment in between. I've been seeing a Christian counselor since I was 20 to combat this, and have gained an enormous amount of personal insight and healthy coping mechanisms. I have also taken St. John's Wort, Celexa, Zoloft and now Prozac.
Depression has become my handicap; not the cancer, the diabetes or the actual loss of limbs or senses. The patterns of the affliction have become as familiar to me as going through the motions of brushing my teeth. Yet I have struggled against it, tried to justify it, resisted medication, embraced suffering, sought and found God within it, and eventually hit bottom and begun the rise back up to normalcy.
I particularly resisted medication for a long time. Only when I went through a truly horrific bout when I turned thirty did I finally succumb and start on Celexa, eventually switching to Zoloft. It always seemed to me that taking medication meant that I was truly helpless and out of control; that it being a chemical issue meant that I couldn't fix it on my own. I still believe that a lot of my depression is due to my poor coping skills and overactive imagination; but during an extended bout of depression my serotonin levels get so low that I am unable to pull myself back out of despair. The thought of being on medication for the rest of my life seems unendurable. I see the whole Prozac phenomenon as unnatural and an easy escape from coping.
Lying on the couch in my office during my lunch break one day, I wept at the life that I saw stretching ahead of me; where I would periodically be incapacitated by depression and the difficulties that might arise if I married or had children. And a little voice in my head pointed out that this was my handicap… that if I had useless legs I would use a wheelchair, wouldn't I? Then why was I (figuratively) dragging myself along the ground, refusing to use a wheelchair or crutches because it wasn't "natural?" It's ludicrous; and likewise, suffering needlessly through depression and despair is the same as dragging myself down the hallway. Yeah, I could get where I'm going eventually, but it would be mighty unpleasant and take a very long time! So for now, my crutch is Prozac. Maybe, years down the road, they'll figure out another way to combat depression that I don't find so... upsetting.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Friendship Halitosis

Recognizing that I have Friendship Halitosis has been a difficult but necessary part of my early thirties. From 4th grade onward, I found I was markedly deficient in friendship skills. My chronic Foot in Mouth Disease, coupled with a relentless honesty that came across as tactlessness was bad enough. What made it worse was a prodigious vocabulary, eccentricity, and way too much reading. These combined together to give me the Stench of Social Outcast; which ultimately led to what I like to call Friendship Halitosis. 

What is Friendship Halitosis? It is desperation, coupled with a demanding spirit. Even now, years after those bleak years in primary education, the fear of finding myself lonely again will push me to heroic feats of friendship. I truly love to be involved in my friends' lives, but on a subconscious level I feel I must perform to be acceptable to them - remembering birthdays, invitations to see movies or watch TV, helping them move, attending Pampered Chef parties, baked goods, backrubs, awesome Christmas and wedding presents - but there is an aura, a smell of fear that I give off even when I am being the best friend in the world, and it turns me into Pepe Le Peu. Friends can't get away from me fast enough. 

The unfairness of it all - how very hard I've worked to keep up "my side" of the friendship! - frustrates me, and so I call, or email, or suggest an outing, or an invitation to lunch or dinner. And they refuse, or do not respond at all. Which makes me angrier, and more frustrated, so I try even harder - I silently demand that they reciprocate my friendship in like manner. The halitosis is great enough at this point to floor a superhero, so of course everyone in my vicinity heads for the hills. It is a self-perpetuating stench, which only recedes when I collapse from exhaustion and give up. 

Having finally understood the pervasive nature of this disease, I make the best effort I can to back away when I start to see the metaphysical wincing of my nearest and dearest. It takes an enormous effort of will to not give in to self-pitying flights of fancy and childish daydreams of "how sorry they'd be if I were dead." To indulge those thoughts is to feed the disease. No, it takes a firm brushing with reality and a concerted effort to find solitary entertainments, like endless stacks of videos from the library or a reeeeealllly good cross-stitch project. I feed my Inner Geek for a while, and eventually may venture out again, bearing firmly in mind to make no demands lest halitosis begin to pervade my life again. 

This is not to say that my friends haven't been unfair or disappointing - it's not always my fault - but how I choose to respond has been like that of an adolescent. I may have been reading James Mitchener when I was in 5th grade, but I traded that in to behave like a 5th grader in my twenties and thirties. I may have the best intentions in the world, and truly enjoy my friends, but self-consciousness and self-interest still play way too big a part of my interactions with people.
"There is luxury in self-reproach ... When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 31, 2002


I'm sure I have nothing particularly fresh to say about restaurants, but I want to, so I'm gonna.
Let me just start by saying that I like throwing peanut shells on the floor. It makes me feel better about my own much less messy apartment. For that reason, Logan's Roadhouse will always hold a special place in my heart. It delights my Inner Child.
Restaurants, for me, will always be a treat and a pleasure, except for those rare occasions when I've been to one for every meal in the space of a few days. It's like eating Godiva Chocolates incessantly - they're still fabulous, but after a while you get tired of them if you have them every day. Restaurants are my Godiva Chocolates. Then again, Godiva Chocolates are my Godiva Chocolates. You'd have to be a soulless heathen not to like them.
I went to restaurants so rarely as a child that the few occasions we did go tend to stand out in my mind as holidays; Special Events to mark a Special Day, or the simple fact that Mom had put her foot down and was sick and tired of cooking pinto beans and biscuits, which Dad required every night for supper. (I don't personally remember growing tired of them myself; they don't hold any negative associations for me and I still like them.) But we ate so many meals at home; even the traditional Nashville Sunday Lunch at a Restaurant after Church was denied us. How my sisters and I envied our lucky peers who always went out after Church. We were far more likely to go home to leftovers and Yard Work. Talk about your negative connotations!
A Snow Day story: we had driven back to Nashville from Christmas in Batesville, Arkansas with my mother's relatives, and we had driven all night to beat a snowstorm (driving east from Memphis; remember, weather always comes from Memphis if you live in Nashville) and arrived home around 3 am. When we got up later that morning, the snow had hit and we had a few inches on the ground. I don't know why we didn't just eat breakfast at home, but instead we drove to Green Hills to a restaurant that was practically empty except for us; I recollect pancakes, and a big screen TV showing old Lone Ranger serials. It was the most delicious feeling; of snow falling that we would play in that afternoon, of pancakes that were not served in our house but in a restaurant, with the added kicker of continual Westerns. We girls didn't particularly care for Westerns, but we knew our Dad loved them, and so it was a guaranteed mood-lifter. Like watching the football game with him - he was so easily angered, that anything that made him happy, however briefly, was a blessing to us as well.
A restaurant is not just a place that serves food; it's an encapsulated moment in time with several important elements: Food, conversation, and novelty. I can eat alone, and do on occasion, but that's so I can read a book or a magazine, which is almost another sort of conversation, isn't it? My most meaningful discussions come over a meal. Why else do you think Jesus had the Last Supper? Or ate in the home of a tax collector in the company of prostitutes? Because He knew it was the best way to talk to people. There's something about food and the way it loosens up our emotional and intellectual tongues, and I'm sure some scientist could make a very interesting study about the correlation between brain functions, emotional response, and the act of eating.
The novelty comes from having choices. If I go home to eat, I can almost guarantee that I will be eating one of three things: pasta, rice, or stew. I rarely buy vegetables because I never want to prepare them and they go bad before I can use them, and so the only way I can count on occasional roughage is by going to a restaurant and getting a salad or a veggie platter. Given a choice between vermicelli with sauce from a jar in my fridge and a Caesar Salad with Cajun-grilled chicken on top, my response is predictable, particularly when you take into account that the pasta would be eaten in front of the TV, while the salad would be accompanied by an interesting conversation.
And my family wonders why I can't seem to save any money. Let's see: I'm not dating anyone, so my chief socialization comes from going to restaurants with friends. I'll spend $10 on the average in a restaurant, compared to $2 for a meal at home. At least it's only lunch and dinner - I never eat breakfast in a restaurant except 3-5 times a year, tops. Even when I'm on a business trip with an expense account, I still tend to go to a guy on the corner and get a bagel and cream cheese for $1.25.
I'm not a dining snob; I'm perfectly happy in any average fern bar. I wouldn't be comfortable in a really fancy-shmantzy restaurant. But I will not eat a salad constructed entirely of iceberg lettuce. I want mixed greens or romaine, and even spinach is starting to become pedestrian to me.

Thursday, July 18, 2002


I've been reading a great deal of James Lileks lately - namely, his web log, called The Daily Bleat. I have just recently been elucidated on what "Blogging" is: a consistently maintained online journal. No way I will ever achieve that myself. I have too many dead spells where I haven't any interest or ideas of what to write about. Which makes James Lileks' site all the more inspiring and discouraging at the same time - the guy updates his every single weekday with apparently effortless ease. And writes several newspaper columns, and books on arcane aspects of 20th C. American architecture and pop culture.
And it's always interesting, or funny, or apt. One minute he's telling a story about his adored 2 year-old daughter (known to regular readers as Gnat), and the next he's analyzing certain ridiculous aspects of the war on terrorism, and the next he's talking about the latest Star Wars movie. The most wonderful jumble of well-reasoned, well-informed thought on serious matters combined with mundane (but enjoyable) personal revelations on family life.
And he is so well-informed. At one point he referred to some local politicians as "Panglossian" which sounded familiar but I couldn't place the reference. Then Google reminded me - Dr. Pangloss in Candide. Now THAT'S a literary allusion. And he tucks them in like truffles throughout - the most delightful little nuggets of intelligent analogy and classical reference. I literally sit there and bounce up and down in my chair sometimes, I'm just so tickled to see a reference to a historical character or event that I haven't heard since college and my more literary days.
I forgot what it was like to have that sort of context to life - to reference arcane aspects of the French Revolution, or Greek and Roman Mythology, or the 18th C. novel. I miss it a lot. I know it sounds conceited to say that, and I wish it didn't. It's like taking delight in something that you do pretty well, like golf or crossword puzzles. In my line of work a classical allusion is as likely as... as Tantalus getting a drink of water. That's why they are so delightful when they do appear.
I honestly thought I would stay in academia. I read so much, just tons of books growing up, sometimes 1-2 a day. I never enjoyed studying, and was in fact appallingly bad at math, but I did like cultural history and good stories, and I wrote decent papers. I think I knew that I wasn't going on to a higher degree when a history prof told us one day about grad school and the "Book of the Day" club we would be joining if we continued on in history. The stuff I was reading at this point, though chock-full of goodness and exhaustive scholarly fact, was excessively dull and did nothing to endear me to history from the academic sense. 
I did discover soon after the crucial difference between what I liked in history, and what was taught in classes - what I call "cultural" history. What people ate, read, wore, and did. Academia only rarely strayed into those areas, and when it did it was always with a rather surprised sense that this was rather enjoyable, wasn't it? I had read too much historical fiction growing up - I was used to learning historical facts embedded in a narrative.
But I have completely strayed away from the point I wanted to make when I started, which is this: I have no gift for puns. I wanted to set a foundation of how I consider myself to be a semi-intellectual, good at Trivial Pursuit and knowledgeable of obscure vocabulary words... but that I can't make a pun to save my life.
It's like I have pun dyslexia - I rarely recognize them when they appear, and I most certainly could never come up with them on my own. I have managed to squeeze out 1 or 2 with a very great effort, like a small child laboriously writing his name for the very first time and proudly displaying see what I did? In the improv comedy group I belong to now, there are people who can reel them off like a factory conveyor belt, and I just stand there, as confused as if they were speaking to me in Chinese. The only time I truly feel at a loss in conversation is when pun-swapping is taking place. The chunk of the brain that handles the pun-making process is dead, and has been as long as I've been conscious.
I think it is God's way of keeping me humble. If I am thinking that I am particularly clever, then a pun comes along, and when I realize it (a good 60 seconds later, when everyone has already moved on) the sense of self-disgust and "oh how very stupid I am" is quite enervating.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Really Good Books

I realized years ago that I have a "completionist" tendency. I hate to have things be piecemeal - I like for them to be completed, tied up, with no loose ends. My bookshelves are filled with examples of this. I have an inordinate number of classics and textbooks from college that I cannot bear to part with, for fear of needing them for reference at some unknown point in my future. I have hauled some of the heavier ones through 4 different apartments, where they weren't even unboxed because I had no place to put them. But discarding them was never a consideration.

But there are books that I still reread over and over again, and those are only sensible to keep. The McCaffreys, the McKinleys, the L'Engles, the Lewises, the Austens, the Karons - I would not be able to part with any of them.

However, there is a point at which the author should stop writing. In recent years I've become convinced that most authors should never ever be allowed to write a sequel. If you think of the great classics - Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Silas Marner - almost anything written before 1900 has no sequel (except for Louisa May Alcott, and she was an exception) and although we would dearly love to read more about beloved characters, we quite reasonably accept that there will be no more, and enough is as good as a feast.

But in this day and age, either greed or egotism seems to be triumphing over artistic sense. I can't think of a sequel to ANYTHING within memory that hasn't been a profound disappointment or at best, tepid and thinly spread. One of my favorite authors is Anne McCaffrey. Her Dragonflight fantasy series is extremely re-readable. But she needs to stop... and I wish that the last 3 or 4 books she's written in that universe could be wiped out. All of the original ideas are gone, and the images and storylines that made the first books such a pleasure to read are either beaten to death or entirely absent from her writing now. Yet still the books come, and still I buy them because I am, regretfully, a completionist.

Even Madeleine L'Engle's last few children's books have been utterly bewildering in their pointlessness. The original stories were FINISHED - and yes, I did like her characters, but she couldn't take them any further and in forcing the issue has made them entirely unrecognizable. Only the names are the same. And the same points apply to movies - George Lucas needs to be barred from a keyboard. He might have a story arc he wants to finish, but any ability he had to tell a compelling and entertaining story has entirely disappeared.

But that is a tirade for another day. I want to talk about Really Good Books, the ones you discover and obsessively collect in an effort to keep their essence always at hand. When I was young I was content with library copies of many of my favorites. But as I've grown older and those beloved books have inexplicably disappeared from my library's shelves, I have become rather obsessive about finding copies for myself so I should never be without them again. Thank God for the Internet. I have found more out-of-print books in recent years than I could have ever hoped to find a decade previously.

Gloating over my growing hoard of treasured books has made me start making lists, and I have a list that I call (like the spell in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) "For the Refreshment of the Spirit"
At Home in Mitford series by Jan Karon
Avalon by Stephen Lawhead
Enchanted April and anything by Elizabeth Von Arnim
Mrs. Miniver and anything by Jan Struther
The Darling Buds of May series by H. E. Bates
The Blue Castle and Jane of Lantern Hill by LM Montgomery
Anything by Garrison Keillor

Depending on how long it's been since I read them last, I can generally count on these books to restore peace or comfort. These are the kinds of books that make me quiet and contemplative, and make me long for heaven, I guess. They make me see something better, and more aware of how stifled and unnatural modern life can be... but not to the point that it's depressing. They make me hope, and secretly plan to move my life in a different direction someday. Granted, that different direction usually entails a 3 BR, 2 BA log house on 10 acres about 30 minutes from Nashville...

I guess the point I'm trying to make is these are books about good and beautiful things. They aren't blind to the ugly, disagreeable and painful things in life by any means... but they remind me of the beauty that our hearts long for and rarely acknowledge to anyone, least of all ourselves. We've become so accustomed to living in an ugly world with our lives wrapped up in unimportant, obsessive activities and work that most of us are just totally blind to the fact that we are meant to live a much better life, and a much happier one. These books make me hope that I will live that kind of life before I die... and that even if I don't, heaven is going to be utterly delightful.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002


The siege towers are encircling me, and the food and water are running low. I may have to start eating the horses to survive. The independent life that has been 95% satisfactory is now only about 40% endurable, and it's worsening. Living alone, which can be such a pleasure, is definitely sucking now. Why the "siege" analogy? Because the catapults are hurling difficulties and frustrations over my walls as fast and furious as they can.

It started with my car… my darling, cute little Honda Civic 1993 hatchback with the rear window windshield wiper that was only made for a 6 month period (then discontinued); that dearly loves to kick off its grease boots so the axle can be chewed up with roadway grit; with the sticker of Charlie Brown & Snoopy on a sled in the window so I can find it easily in a parking lot. It started overheating. I know better than to drive it like that, so I popped into my local repair shop, and they could find nothing wrong. I drove it home, and it overheated on the way. I drove it back. This time they found the thermostat (which they had replaced 3 months earlier) was toast, so they replaced it. Next day, it overheated again, so I took it back. They bled air out of the system, and then it was fine… for a week.

My life became a nightmare of taking my car in, them finding nothing wrong, picking it up, it overheating, and taking it back. I was reluctant to go anywhere else because so far I hadn't needed to pay for it since they were responsible for the initial repair job. But after 1 month of this, they exhausted their ideas of what to do, and I took it to the dealer. Turns out it was a head gasket which needed replacing - over $1000 to fix.

Perhaps I was really sick the day I dropped it off, (I had actually had a fever the night before) but as Elder Sister took me to work that morning, I fainted. My mom is convinced it was a panic attack, and in the weeks since I suspect she was right. There was something about having to deal with this ongoing nightmare of seemingly unfixable car repairs all on my own that just melted my independence away. I had to find rides to work and to pick up my car; and when you live alone it's going to be inconvenient for SOMEONE, no matter how willing they may seem to help.

Elder Sister and Elder Brother-in-law were sympathetic and helpful… but not always available. I live a half-hour from work - so practically no-one from work could drive me. But even having had loads of available assistance wouldn't have removed the essential worm in the heart of this apple - that I live alone, and have no boyfriend or husband for support. Roommates wouldn't have altered the picture much either - they may live with you, but they are not bound to you intimately; at least, none of mine have ever been. Both the financial and inconvenience issues were mine to deal with, with no help in sharing the burden. My mom ended up paying for the car repair (for which I am paying her back) but by her unseen shaking finger it's obvious that she thinks I should be more financially prepared to take care of problems like this.

Then the mice assaulted my citadel. A few days after the car debacle was finally concluded, mouse droppings appeared in my kitchen. Everywhere. The following evening as I was getting into bed, one skittered in front of me. Too freaked out to sleep in the same room as a mouse, I went to stay at Elder Sister's house. In the days that followed, a pattern emerged. Wake up, get ready for work, vacuum up the droppings, wipe down the counters with anti-bacterial spray, fix breakfast, go to work. Then upon arriving home, repeat the cycle, including vacuuming the furniture and floors.

I should mention that I am in a state of extreme ambivalence regarding mice. I think they are adorable, and when I wasn't screaming when they darted in front of me, I thought they were awfully cute, sticking their little heads out from under the dresser to see if it was safe to come out. All I wanted was for them to be GONE - I didn't want to have to deal with dead or alive mice. The thought of picking up a trap with a mouse in it makes my skin crawl. Even nudging the traps with my foot to see if they were "occupied" requires a herculean effort. But even more did I want them to stop littering my apartment!

It took my landlord 5 days to finally get pest control in, so in the meantime I went and got one of those ultra-sonic plug-in units that emits a high-pitched sound that makes the mice go away. It worked so well that the mice left more droppings than ever right under the socket where it was plugged in. Finally pest control came and put down a couple of glue traps. Having carefully checked the traps for several days now, I can confidently say that GLUE TRAPS ARE WORTHLESS. They've escaped every time so far. Apparently for glue traps to work, you need to 1) hear the mouse getting caught and flailing about, and then 2) press down on top of the trap to completely envelop them in glue. It should be obvious by now that I DON'T WANT TO GO ANYWHERE NEAR A TRAP WITH A MOUSE IN IT, DEAD OR ALIVE. Do you know what a mouse completely caught in a glue trap does? It has a heart attack - that's how it dies. I'm not sure an old-fashioned snap-trap isn't more humane than that.

In a state of extreme frustration, I went and bought mouse poison and put it down in my kitchen. I should start finding dead mice in 4-5 days, or so the box tells me. Pest control has returned and put down more pointless glue traps, I still vacuum and disinfect every day after work, and I think I smell mice in my ventilation system. This past weekend I stayed at Elder Sister's again, just so I could avoid 2 days of having cocky mice jump out from behind the microwave or Kleenex box, giving me heart palpitations.

It's amusing when related like this; but the essential fact remains that once again I have to take care of the problem by myself. I've made jokes before that everyone (especially women) should be single for a good long stretch at least once in their life so they can learn to "squish their own bugs." Well, I've graduated from bugs to mice, and I can assure you that the same saying does not apply here. I am thoroughly tired of independence and want to embrace my inner fragile Victorian woman who faints at the sight of mice.

The most recent attack on my independence came this past weekend. Either I read somewhere (or I dreamt it) that a mouse infestation means death is imminent. Well, my 2nd cousin Wallace and my friend Denise's aunt and uncle (not married) all died Saturday, my boss's good friend died Friday, and on Monday morning we found that a co-worker had had a stroke Friday night and lain unconscious all weekend long, until we called her son when she didn't show up at work. It's the quintessential single person's fear, as far as I'm concerned… to be hurt or incapacitated and no-one is aware you're in trouble until days have passed. Bridget Jones said it best "… and you're half-eaten by an Alsatian," or words to that effect. I told Elder Sister that she had better remember to make sure she'd spoken to me at least once each weekend, and my mom will be told the same.

I think I am quite ready to give up the citadel - I'd throw open the gates, but in peeking through the crenellations I can see that there is no army outside to accept my terms for surrender. This is the cruelest kind of war - where your strength and fighting ability are undermined, yet your foe cannot be seen or identified and you are given no opportunity to surrender and be given terms of peace.