May 26, 2006
enough with the frickin' birds, already!
OK this will be the last one and then I will save it up for me NEW blog, because what I really need is another reason to spend hours online looking at things and letting the world spin around without me.
I did a quick inventory of my bird-themed stuff and it's not as bad as I had imagined, though still enough to be a possibly alarming trend. In our youth, my brother Ruby and I somehow both got tagged as Lovers of Stuff We Didn't Actually Give Two Craps About. When I was around twelve, someone (MOM!) got it in her head that I loved unicorns and circulated this myth around the family for purposes of gift-giving ideas. I began to receive unicorn throw pillows, t-shirts, stuffed animals, you name it. This was right around the time my parents were splitting up, so I guess my dad wanted to compensate for ditching his family by giving me a really good birthday present that year. What says "I'm sorry I'm walking out of your life pretty much forever but have a great thirteenth birthday!" better than a scrimshaw pendant with a unicorn and a rainbow on it? Nothing, that's what. Man I wish I still had that thing.
My brother's albatross was Peanuts-themed items. Each year for Christmas he would receive a thick comic book chock full of the wacky adventures off that lovable Snoopy and gang. As he got older, it grew to include t-shirts with Joe Cool Snoopy, Snoopy hats, all sorts of stuff. Oh how it pained Ruby on Christmas morning to open up a gift and find some version of Snoopy staring up at him, and oh how it delighted me as I sat holding my third pair of unicorn pajamas.
So when we went up to my mom's house the other weekend and she whipped out a sweet brown t-shirt with the Snoopster on it, giving thumbs up below the words "Cool Dad", I was so freaking happy I almost couldn't breathe. She wasn't sure that Ruby would like it, but I convinced her it was the perfect gift for someone who was both a Snoopy fan and a Cool Dad.
Now that I think of it, every gift I give Ruby from now on is going to have a Peanuts theme. Screw Snoopy, though, I'm pulling out the big guns and going straight to Peppermint Patty. I'm gonna go mother-lovin' FRANKLIN on that kid's ass. RUBY YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
May 24, 2006
Thanks to mama says om for this week's nature theme! At last it stopped raining here so we took a bird walk, Bean and me. He was as intrigued by the pill bugs under the rocks he turned over as he was using the wrong end off his binoculars to "see birds close up."
I originally thought that birding would be something I would do for myself, that it would be a solitary hobby I pursued since the rest of my life is so entwined with my husband's and my son's. But Bean has already stolen my laminated map of Rhode Island birds to take to his preschool's show and tell tomorrow. He can name a robin, seagull, red-wing blackbird, sparrow, cardinal, owl, blue jay. At the zoo last weekend, standing in front of four caged giraffes, he breathlessly exclaimed "Look mama, a bird!" Sure enough, a tiny brown sparrow had landed there too, which was just as interesting to my boy.
Sometimes backward lenses can give you a whole new perspective.
May 19, 2006
Lately, the Bean has gotten quite demanding of my husband's and my conversational attention, so that when my husband and I are discussing Important Grown Up Things such as should we pick up beer tonight and did you hear that so-and-so broke up, the Bean will yell "Talk to ME, Mommy and Daddy, talk to ME!" We usually try and speed through our conversation before acknowledging him, awesome parents that we are "Andnowhe'sdatingthenannyandtheyaremovingtoArgentina...WHAT, Bean?!" This results in much shuffling of feet, ummming and shy silences from our selectively mute toddler.
The other night we went out to dinner, and this time the Bean was all prepared. My husband and I were discussing, I dunno, asset allocation and whether or not we should roll over our 401ks when the Bean took up his familiar high-decible refrain "TALK. TO. ME!!!" So I turned to him and asked in my most patient mom-voice (which I barely have and when I use, sounds to me like Minnie Mouse trying to be maternal after a three-night gas huffing binge) "And what would you like to talk about, sweetie?" He looked right at me and said "That's a really pretty necklace you're wearing." WHATEVER! We are totally living with a 1970's smooth-talkin' playa! What's next, you're gonna ask me my sign? Jeez. The kid can't poop on the potty and yet he's making bar-worthy small talk.
In birding news, I've been somewhat thwarted in my efforts due to the rain, however I did register a domain name for my new birding blog (that's the part where the Internet implodes from the dorkiness. Sorry, that's too much! Your time here is done.) so you have that to look forward to. Or not. I'm actually working on an article about this whole birding thing, which is shamefully overdue and if my editor is reading this Hi, don't kill me, I love you, it's coming!
I was wondering if it would be possible to make birding cool with The Kids, like you would put Death Cab for Cutie stickers on your binoculars and smoke cigarettes and listen to your ipod and everybody could flashmob at a certain marsh to look at spoonbills. If people are still doing any of those things. And if spoonbills live in marshes, which I don't really know yet but will.
Hmm. Let's hope something thrilling happens over the weekend so I don't turn into a puddle of self-inflicted boredom and float down yonder stream.
May 16, 2006
getting jiggy, but not necessarily with it
When we heard about the unending rain in Seattle this past winter, we were like “Ooo, it’s a good thing we got out of there before all that nasty water came out of sky for a billion days in a row causing everyone to get all sad and twitchy.” Now, the joke is on us as we are currently in the midst of a weeks-long deluge. Just when you think the rain is about to taper off and the sun peek out…KERSPLASHO along comes some more rain to fall on your foolish head.
That is a clumsy segue into this morning’s events, which, though off to an interesting start, ended in a washout. I’ve recently concluded that I need a hobby other than the endless creation and consumption of words, thoughts, theories, strategies, best practices, yammer yammer yammer having to do with communication and technology. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that stuff but I am really starting to feel disconnected from other, more life-affirming fare. You know, like nature.
For a long time, I’ve been buying crap with birds on it. Address books, jewelry, art, t-shirts. Even little wooden birds on sticks that you place on shelves etc. to spruce up the place. I’ve long threatened my fly-fishman husband that I was going to take up birding in my old age so that when he was out standing in some freezing water, I could be tottering around a bog looking at birds and taking notes in little weird notebooks. But the real birds have already been catching my eye. How can they not? Our backyard is like a fricking bird three-ring circus. Every morning there are about sixteen robins, a half a dozen cardinals, mourning doves, red-winged blackbirds, wrens, warblers, finches, orioles and woodpeckers ripping it up out there with songs, games, and laughter. Those guys are having such a great time – they love spring! that I am finding myself wanting in on their simple, avian joy.
My Mother’s day gift this year is a Nikon D50. My husband is being very sweet and supportive of my burgeoning, elderly interest in birding, I think primarily because fly-fishing and birding go together like S&M. Where the birds are is where the fish are and vice versa, so my new hobby would guarantee him decades of fishing vacations. For another thing, I will no longer be able to make fun of him for getting giddy over tiny, googly doll eyes and chartreuse and hot pink feathers. My nature-peeping pot will be way dorkier than his fly-tying kettle.
This morning was going to be my first attempt at looking at birds as a hobby. It started off promising: some orange bird I hadn’t seen before totally sang the American Top Forty from a tree as I was loading the Bean in the car. But after I dropped Bean off at daycare, got my coffee, and drove to the bird sanctuary just a few miles from our house, the light “birder-friendly” sprinkle had turned into a veritable monsoon. I tried to wait it out in the birdy gift shop, where I picked up a copy of Sibley’s Birding Basics, a reference chart of Rhode Island birds, and a copy of this very cool magazine. I had never seen this magazine before but seriously any magazine that has an article beginning like this is a friend o'mine:
The most common words I hear spoken by any environmentalist anywhere are, We’re fucked. -- Derrick Jensen
I'd like to know what we can do because there’s a lot of birdies in the world that I want my son to be able to look at one day when he is ancient like me. Even the rain, which sent me home instead of into the woods, feels like an omen that things are not right in the world.
May 08, 2006
ice ice baby
Man that blink tag is annoying. No wonder the internet kicked that one to the curb. Still, I have to admit that it does capture a certain excitement that I was hoping to convey.
I've recently been enjoying some new (for me) blogs. I kind of feel like I want to break up with some of the other blogs I've been linking to and go for something, I dunno. Younger. Fresher. More virile. However, I would still keep Defective Yeti because he's my pal plus funny, and Sweetney because that girl knows how to keep it real and of course Mimi Smartypants because she is the best ever and I wish she lived near me so I could buy her a beer and punch her on the arm. She said I could once!
So. Here's some new cool chicks. My heart is all aflutter with the promise of new blog love. You know, for spring. Please to check them out etc.
- supafine! I'm a fan of her brand of righteouness as well as her blog name. She enjoys "maxing out" about stuff, as I do.
- Mother May I She's cute and seems nice and plus our toddlers may be dating in the next two decades or so.
- ashaland Asha is very cool. She seems to have a hundred things going on, all of them interesting.
- Breed 'em and Weep She has ghosts. For reals.
As a farewell gift, I'd like to leave you with a photograph of my son's current love. This one has stolen his heart so completely I am unsure that he will ever recover. This is drive-around-the-block-again, flailing tantrum of it's not there kinda love. You know what I mean. For do you ever really get over your first love? I think not, especially when that love is so frosty.