Hoard All the Animals!

I’ve always had this thing for weird animals. I love my cat, and my dog, and the numerous pet hamsters and fish that preceded them, but there’s always been something especially attractive about have an exotic, one-of-a-kind critter to call my own.

Throughout my life I’ve kept detailed lists and plans of the country gentleman’s farm I plan to own, complete with the architecture of the barn, layout of the land and each and every animal that will fill the stalls (just ask my parents, they can vouch).

I guess I should put down a disclaimer saying yes, I realize some of these animals aren’t meant to and should never actually be kept in captivity (although many are). I’m hatching no elaborate plans to house a bengal tiger in my backyard, Boy Scouts’ promise. And so without further ado, this is the list of my Top 10 Dream Exotic Pets. 🙂

10. Chinchilla


I don’t really know if chinchillas can even really count as ‘exotic’ anymore, they’ve become so popular over the past few years. These little South American rabbit-mice things are pudgy little balls of cuteness and their cuddle-ability factor is seriously upped by those velvet coats (which I find infinitely more attractive when actually still attached to their bodies, thank-you-very-much).

9. Kangaroo Rat


Still in rodent territory, the kangaroo rat is, as one might guess, A, a rat and B, likes to hop around on their back legs in a manner akin to that of a kangaroo. If one look at those big black eyes doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will.

8. Hedgehog


Again, maybe a little too popular to be considered ‘exotic’, but these prickly little guys have my heart. And if they have yours too I definitely suggest watching this:

7. African Grey Parrot


Incredibly intelligent with an overall gentle disposition and trademark ability to mimic human speech; what’s not to like about the majestic-looking African Greys? Unfortunately, as is the case with many exotic animals, the African Grey trade is a shady business that has caused serious harm for the wild population. Nonetheless, their intelligence is terribly compelling, don’t you think? Plus the whole talking-parrot gimmick never gets old.

That’s not true at all. But I still want and African Grey.

6. Tortoise


I LOVE TORTOISES! I don’t know what it is, but something about that ancient, slow and steady nature is so incredibly endearing. And I think we can learn a lot from the tortoise’s stop-and-smell-the-roses lifestyle (although I guess any other sort of lifestyle isn’t really an option when you can only move at .17 miles per hour). I guess the big problem would be lining up a caretaker after your death; one of the few pets you can count on to outlive you.

5. Miniature Zebu


Um, duh, the sacred namesake of this blog had to make an appearance. I think the full-sized zebu is less of a pet and more livestock, but this portable variety can definitely make the cut. I would keep him in my house. We’d have a zebu-door. It’ll be great.

4.Patagonian Cavy


Another rodent (yeah, it’s a rodent! Science man, it’s cray!) that’s basically a rabbit and a kangaroo and maybe a deer all rolled into one. It manages to come off both cute and sassy at the same time and hails from Argentina. Why don’t we get wildlife like this in the states?

3. Wallaby


Oh my lord, this is my heart’s greatest desire. I have daydreams about the looks I’ll get on the street as I stroll along the sidewalk with my leashed wallaby. Just look at that face!

2. Serval/Genet





I put both of these in the same spot because they’re pretty similar and equally super-fierce (Tyra-fierce, not wild-animal-that-will-most-certainly-turn-on-you-and-tear-you-apart fierce). Okay, they’re really not similar at all. One’s a majestic house-cat-cheetah hybrid and one’s a precocious-looking ferret-like mongoose-cousin. But I love them both.


1. Fennec Fox


Does this picture really need words? Realistically, I don’t think anyone could ever get me on board with having a fennec fox as a pet; that doesn’t seem like a creature suited to captivity (although they are legitimately kept as household pets). But in my hypothetical dream list there are no rules, and I am in love with these desert canines.



It’s a rainy Tuesday afternoon and I’m not feeling particularly inspired. I’ve got short stories and Shakespeare to read, binary codes to sort out, internship opportunities to sift through and college transfer applications to start on.

The dreaded college essay; not something I ever thought I’d have to face down again. The ‘personal statement’, that 500-word document meant to encapsulate, glamorize and sell the athletic, socially-active, hard-working, family-oriented, goal-driven, community -involved, innovative, resourceful student that is you. Or, you know, so you want admissions officers to think. But how exactly do you non-boastfully cram all these thoughts and qualities into an essay so brief?

I think being a writer, far from being an edge in the essay-writing process, actually hampers your abilities to navigate through the Common App’s personal statement. Maybe it’s because on top of nervously and not-too-subtly attempting to shed light on all these stereotypically sought-after qualities, you have an intense need to spin a good story, too. Not just well-written, although that’s important also; you want to tell a story, involving progress and personal change and all that good stuff to grab a reader’s attention and keep them invested. And it all has to happen while carefully interweaving self-product-placement statements and constraining yourself to the word limit.

So that’s why I’m currently writing essay attempt #4 while staring out at a hazy slate-grey New York skyline and hoping through my desperate complaints to the cyber-world inspiration will somehow strike. Maybe?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

– Amy

Nonsensicality and Visitations

Like most of the sane population, I’ve never been a big fan of Mondays. In general, no one is more excited to see the week draw to a close than me. But this week I’ve got quadruple the reasons to be excited because MY SISTER’S FINALLY COMING TO VISIT ME AT HOFSTRA!!!! AAAAAAH!

We love each other, really.

We love each other, really.

I actually can’t contain my excitement. And I know sometimes she reads this, so don’t let it go to your head or anything, but I’m dying. …. Of aforementioned excitement.

Of course I’m super stoked to get to see my little sister and show her around my second home, but more-so I can’t wait to see people’s reactions to this girl because if I seem a little crazy and high-strung, I’m absolutely nothing compared to my younger sibling. It’s going to be fantastic!

Anyways, as I count down the days to Friday (I literally have a countdown…)

4 days to go!

I’ve been on a bit of a poetry kick so I’ve got some writings to share. I’ve been trying lately to shake the traditional, school-learnt rules of poetry and concentrate not necessarily on getting the words or the form right and instead focusing on the sound, which has had some interesting results. Here’s one I scribbled down during Computer Science and, while it’s a little unorthodox, I’m kinda liking this whole lets-throw-scheme-and-such-out-the-window approach:


(Or For Those Who Don’t Listen)

Leap splish-splashing reckless white caps slapping stones

like the rain pelts the roof

and the shore drinks the tide

and the sun burns what’s green,

catching dizzy-bright starlight ‘neath the shade-striped palm trees.

Glinting time-stop in surfaces smooth and slate shy

with their own lack of form so they throw back the sky,

and they’re desperate for shape

and they’re desperate for touch

so they slip-slide and cliff-dive

and spin skin pink-flushed.

Blowing dizzy-dance bubbles

bursting –POP– in the breeze

sweeping sweet scents and jazz hymns

whisp’ring stand-tall decrees.

Not a shine-free-slide-loose-half-strong-sound-daring-spark-fuse

could for all conscience-warnings find words to refuse.

Haha, so I swear there’s an actual meaning here, but I’ll just leave you to puzzle it out.

Because I’m sure you’re all just dying to know.

Till next time!

– Amy

I swear

Kongos and Kars

So there might’ve been a time when I sorta kinda tried to structure The Zebu around days of the week; Mondays for Music, Tuesdays for Travel, Thursdays for Art (sorry to break the alliteration), Fridays for Final Thoughts and Wednesdays were always kind of up in the air (my feelings on Wednesdays).

But I figure this format is not in fact true to myself because, as we know, a college student’s life has no structure. Unless you  count haphazardly scheduling meals and naps between classes as a structure.

I’ve had this song rattling around in my head for a while and I felt like sharing with the masses. The good news is I finally got it out of my head! The bad news is it’s been replaced by the 1-8-7-7 Kars 4 Kids song on loop, which is decidedly worse. Anyways, this band has become my new obsession and I would definitely recommend checking them out. 🙂

‘I’m Only Joking’ and ‘Escape’ are favorites too.

Sidenote: I was listening before ESPN! #hipsterstatus

Spiral-Bound Literature

Sometimes college classes are so riveting you scribble down every word like each is a liquid bead of wisdom trying to dribble away, like each sentence is a revelation you’ve known to be truth all your life but never understood until now.

But usually, your college classes are not like this. Usually they’re full of half-prepared and distracted professors, kids texting under their desks like the empty space beneath their tables is somehow acting as a visual barrier, and a palpable sense of heaviness in the air that accompanies collective boredom.

My required course in Western Literature is one such class. We’re currently reading Homer’s The Iliad and today discussed the death of Patroclus (spoiler!!) and the presentation of women within the text. I actually love The Iliad and find both of these conversation-worthy topics, but unfortunately the class is populated with characters that make enjoyment difficult. Exhibit A: The overly sassy black woman, who constantly refers to Helen as ‘some little slut who can’t keep her hands to herself’, laughs about The Iliad’s references to rape and is constantly telling our professor, “I don’t think you understand how things worked back then.” He’s the professor. I’m going to assume he understands how things worked back then. Exhibit B: The conservative know-it-all who today told us all she didn’t want to talk about Freud because his ideas ‘grossed her out’. And Exhibit C: our professor, an adorable, bespectacled man with a thick Chicago accent who basically spends the entire hour quietly puzzling over how to wrest control of the class back from the prior two figures. Plus, not that it’s any fault of his, but listening to long passages of The Iliad rendered in a vocal affectation akin to this:

doesn’t exactly inspire the epic atmosphere one expects from Homer’s heroic poem.

Anyways, since I’ve read all the material and, not to sound too arrogant, think I’ve pretty much grasped the concepts our professor spends the entire class trying to relay to the overly sassy black woman, I’ve turned to writing poetry in the margins of my notebook. And considering I’m writing thesaurus-less I think I’ve churned out some pretty good stuff! So I would like to share with you one of today’s works, a piece I’ve entitled:

Dozing in Class

Sluggish sleep dulls my mind

like a blanket of sand,

sun-warmed and tight-packed,

keeps my eyelids glued closed.

There’s a need in my bones

to soak marigold light,

warm away all the frost

from my snow-frozen soul.

My mind is a tundra,

the wind bites at the plains

though there’s little to crush

underheel in these wastes.

Still sleep whispers sweet

little songs that behest,

soothing tones that seduce

with the promise of rest.

More strong-willed by far

than the Iliad’s lines,

than Shakespeare’s sweet verses

and poetry rhymes.

So my thoughts tend to flit

towards a happier place

and thus sleep wraps me tight

in it’s welcome embrace.

The End!