am the first to admit that I don t understand what s going on in the Middle East. There are too many thousands of years of history involved, too many religious factions, and too many countries on which one must be an expert. I do know, however, that violence usually never cures any problem. Take the Palestinan suicide bombers who are killing Israeli men, women, and children by the dozens. Yes, they have had tough lives without much hope and yes, they are desperate. But do they have any common sense? They think that suicide missions assure them a martyr s place in heaven and will allow them to spend eternity in the company of 72 virgins. Hmm. Blow up some babies and you get this? I don t think so. Why not start a campaign telling them that their souls will be exiled to Frayser for eternity and just how many virgins will they get to hang out with there? And what about the women suicide bombers? Why are they so interested in hanging out with virgins for eternity? Should we send Rosie O Donnell over to talk with them? But, like I said, I don t understand any of it. It s my opinion that the entire mess is based on male ego and penis size, so what do you care what I think? About anything? On a much more personal basis, I have other things to worry about, the main thing being that I believe my poor little cat is going blind. Like any good cat owner, I let her eat off my plate on the coffee table if she wants to. Just yesterday, after she had eaten a couple of bites from my plate, I took it away to the sink. A few minutes later, she was there on the coffee table with her nose pressed to it and acting like she was trying to eat out of the plate again. You can imagine my horror. I started trying out some paw-eye coordination exercises with her, but she wasn t really able to follow. I paced back and forth across the room in which she was sitting to see if she would notice or turn her head, which she didn t. It very well could be that she was simply finding new ways to ignore me, but still I am worried. She still jumps up onto her two beds the handmade Afghan on my new leather sofa and the hand-made quilt on my bed but I think that may just be because she knows the space so well. I tried the old holding-her-near-the-whizzing-ceiling fan trick, but her head didn t spin around like it used to. So I m not sure what to do. I m thinking that a pair of dark sunglasses and some miniature macramÇ beads along with a name-change to Stevie might be in order, but I m just not sure. At least she was spared watching me rip a door out of the house the other day with a screwdriver and a meat mallet and didn t watch the Celine Dion special with Destiny s Child, which I am so sorry I missed. If anyone has a tape of it, I would love to see it. In the meantime, here s a brief look at what s going on around town this week. Tonight, there are several plays opening. At The Orpheum, When a Woman s Fed Up is filled with drugs, adultery, death-row sentences, single-parent homes, and dysfunctional families. And A History of the American Film, a parody of Hollywood, opens at the U of M s Rose Theater. The Grizzlies take on Portland tonight at The Pyramid, while the Redbirds are playing Sacramento at AutoZone Park. The Teresa Pate Jazz Trio is in the M Bar at Melange tonight. Crimson Sweet and The Lost Sounds are at the Hi-Tone. And Eighties band Venus Mission is at Club 152 on Beale Street tonight through Saturday. But whatever you do today, be sure to have lunch at the Orchid Club. Queen of Soul Cooking Sadie Ware has finally opened for lunch, and, well, just go. You won t be sorry. She promised me there will be turnip greens every day.