Sunday, July 31, 2005
Not an ex-parrot
So I look out the window and what do I see in my hanging pot, tugging at the empty thistle sock? Some sort of bluish-gray parrot! I watched it for a while; it seemed very cheery, although most birds do, because, really why wouldn't they be cheery, what with the flying and the hanging out on flowers and tweeting and all. It was digging in the soil, looking for what I'm not sure, and when I crept outside with the camera, it actually started making noises and coming towards me. I went back in for crackers (cliche, yes, but was all I could find) and tried to lure it closer. It seemed to like when I said "Birdie birdie birdie!" but finally decided I'd come close enough and flew into the neighbor's yard, where it made a ruckus and caused many annoyed sparrows to fly out of the shrubs. I went back out a few minutes later, refilled the feeders, and sure enough he came back, spending a good half hour eating sunflower seeds and attempting to make friends with the mourning doves, who were having none of it.
It took me a while to figure out what he is, but now I know he's a lovebird. I couldn't find a picture that looks exactly like him, but I think he's a whitefaced violet. He eventually flew away and I really hope he finds his way home again. If I see him again I may try to catch him, but I don't think it'll be easy. He was quite the little personality and I find myself wishing he was mine, which is TERRIBLE I know, both because he belongs to someone and because I can't bear to put animals in cages, but still, it's hard to resist tweety voices and curious black eyes.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Plus, a bit of mental distress
The thought occurred to me several times over the weekend that I kind of wish I had a regular job like normal people. I really dislike that constant voice in the back of my head telling me I should be working/studying/contacting various experts/mapping/collecting when in fact all I want to do is read and garden and watch movies and relax. I'll snap out of it, I'm sure, but those "Am I doing the right thing?" thoughts are always distressing. I'm fairly certain that much of my attitude is caused by fear over knowing I have to start teaching soon. In four weeks, in fact. I'm sure the first week will suck and then I'll get used to it and it won't be a big deal. I just hope I remember to BREATHE once or twice during the class because passing out in front of undergrads is usually considered a faux pas.
I saw some photos of an "autumn garden" at Craig Bergmann's website today, and was startled by a twinge of happiness at one of the photos, something in reds and oranges with a fall-colored maple tree. Not that I'm in a huge rush for winter, but autumn represents many happy things along with the pretty leaves and asters: the return of a somewhat regular schedule, outings with classmates, and the end of this horrible, horrible heat. Joy is right around the corner.* And, as we learned on "The Office", the key to happiness is joy.
*Not to be confused with "Lucky is coming your way", the amusingly typoed fortune cookie I had at Mark's grandma's 80th birthday party last weekend. Hello, Mr. Lucky!
Yoplait's secret ingredient
What is that magical ingredient that makes Yoplait's whipped yogurt so fluffy and low-fat? Turns out to be *air*, almost half a container's worth. Apparently, they didn't intend me to stir my yogurt before I ate it.
I have a funny feeling I'm going to be hungry again very soon.
Friday, July 22, 2005
1) It is FREAKIN' hot out. I was out this morning, thinking "This isn't so bad, in a damp and balmy New Orleans sort of way." Then I went out around 3:00 with the noble intent of doing some gardening. Ten minutes later, I'd deadheaded three mums and decided the others could just be leggy this year, watered the planters, apologized to the hungry birds, and dragged my dripping wet self back in the house. The weekend it's just supposed to get worse, too. Have I mentioned lately that air conditioning is the greatest invention of all time? Even better than the internet and vanilla lattes. This drought sucks, the crops look awful, my garden makes me sad, and our cherry tree has presumably died. On the plus side, we have a fine green crop of chickweed and shepherd's purse. Chickweed actually makes pretty good lawn material. Shepherd's purse, not so much, though it does have nifty fruits.
2) This! And other things in that gallery also.
3) Have now collected sporadically from four sites, with permits for several others. Have to return to Alma and other places later in the season if I want Epifagus, which is unfortunate because I think it could make an interesting side project. I'm quickly discovering that when I apply for grants, I'll mostly be asking for gas money. Sigh.
4) Still don't know why Blogger is making my alignment all wonky. Annoying.
5) 6th Harry Potter book came out over the weekend. Have thus far resisted the urge to shell out for the hardcover, since it won't match our set of paperbacks and that would be silly. You know what else is silly? Waiting over a year to read it! Must find someone to borrow from.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Everybody in Chicago has taken pictures here, and now so have I:
Saturday, July 02, 2005
A star is born
Not that I'll necessarily ever see this movie, but "The Break Up" has been filming in town, including at Wrigley. I was at Wrigley on June 30, and although I never saw a film crew, maybe they caught the bleachers in a pan shot? Anyway, IF I ever see it, I must watch for myself in the front row of the right field bleachers! I was wearing a white tank top, light blue Cubs hat, and a sunburn. :P
Incidentally, it was my first time in the bleachers (Thanks Greg!). I found it more congenial than I expected, largely thanks to the security guards who don't put up with *anything*. If there were such attentive guards in the stands, we wouldn't have problems with clueless people standing while talking on the phone and waving, or with mean-spirited drunks like at the Red Sox game.