Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Made egregious error at work. Caused panic and upsettedness. Heart just not in it, apparently. Checked checking account and damn mortgage accelerator took out extra payment (per agreement of which I was totally unaware as had nothing to do with implementation of), thus eliminating the cash for Disney World. Now will have to use credit and that just makes me angry. Don't have any more opera checks coming until med-December. Don't want to sell Apple stock for vacation. May have to. Hate car payment, hate house payment, hate credit cards. Want to sell everything and live in cottage in forest far away from calendars and grant budgets where can raise birds and alpacas and reptiles and spin own yarn with which to knit garments to sell and earn living. Christian will have to telecommute.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Christian snapped some amazing pics of Sasha preening, so I shall now force you to view them (well, you could navigate away, but you WON'T, because you love seeing pictures of our birds, don't you?).
I love the long tail feather shots with the fuzzy feather fluff on the back:
That fluff is all over our house. I have to vacuum every other day or puffy balls of down skitter away from us as we walk through the dining room.
He leans forward and stretches out one foot behind him to zip his tail feathers:
This is my favorite shot:
His belly feathers always look slightly greasy and disheveled, and we feel as though we should bathe him more, but it doesn't seem to help. He must run into the bathroom after we leave and slather himself in hair pomade. No wonder why we go through it so quickly.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Sasha let me scratch his back today, even while Christian was sitting there scratching him, too. He let me preen a pinfeather and feel his fluffy back under the primary feathers. He has the floofiest down imaginable that feels like kitten fur (without inducing the hives). Birds are alarmingly fragile-feeling, though, when you get down to their skin and bones. Skinny pencil necks, hard little craniums, dinky little ribs. I like to kiss their little toes as they seem to be the sturdiest bits about them: they're all leathery and scaled, like an iguana, but you can't kiss an iguana because of salmonella, so it works out best for everyone if I just kiss the birds' feet. Well, except for the birds. They really don't like it.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Rehearsal on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2-9 or 10 pm, after having worked from 9-2. We open tomorrow and I think it will be fantastic. I have a mirrored robe that glints like a liturgical disco ball and I'm wearing so much makeup that passing drag queens shake their heads and spit into their hankies so they can wipe my face. We all look vaguely "We Three Kings," which I suppose is appropriate as the season approacheth so quickly. Fa la la and all that.
I love Christmas. I love it. Love. It. We leave for Disney World two weeks from today, and, not only will the parks be decorated for Christmas, but we're attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, so it will be an orgy of festivity combining two of my favorite things. I'm doing the thing where I try to not get too excited because I'll make myself sick from anxiety over whether or not I've planned enough. Now there's four people other than my husband to keep entertained, but, they're pretty prepped to be made happy by our trip without my having to do a thing. Not that I won't try to do lots of things. Lots, and lots and lots of fun things. Not excited. Not at all. I really should go to bed. Can't sleep. Too excited.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Shelly and I drove to Spokane this weekend to see the nephews and the folks. Now that the boys are living there, I'll have to make the trip more often as the vital vitamin N blood level drops when I go too long without being tackled or told that I'm loved by a three year old with a lisp. This time, Christian couldn't go as he had to work absurdly long hours to prepare for some big work event, so we left early on Friday afternoon after picking up Mark to take him home before he had to return to work on Monday as he's not telecommuting right now. We listened to mostly Broadway musicals (Curtains and Avenue Q, which both give me hope that the American musical isn't dead) and then some really dirty comedy once the musicals were over.
As this time we left early and returned late (as I don't work on Mondays), we saw the boys repeatedly, visited my grandma, got fitted for bras, walked around the "old" part of town and met up with a former college professor with whom I've maintained contact. Now, when I was 20 and he started teaching, he was in his early thirties, so his first group of students weren't too far from his age, and many of us maintained friendships after college as he's still one of the most hilarious people I've ever known. Mom had sent me an article a while ago on how he purchased an old home in town and was renovating it. Consequently, we got in touch and made plans to meet up and see his house. However, what I didn't remember from the article was that he bought one of the original Kirtland Cutter mansions. We met up at the Music Building on campus to see all the changes in my former program and went to see the house. I wasn't prepared. As we were driving there, we discussed the absurd Seattle real estate prices and crappy square footage and I asked him how big his house was. He asked me about mine, and I told him that it was around 1,200. He replied that his was slightly larger. As soon as I saw the house, I could communicate only in expletives and choking sounds. I think my exact words were, "motherfuckingsonofabitchholyshitohmygodareyoufuckingkiddingme?"
At around 10,000 square feet, the Mission revival style house, built in 1907, was the house I had driven by perhaps a million times when I was a high-schooler and undergrad coming home from my friend's house around the corner and cried over with lust and longing. The house was in, what could most kindly be described as, a catastrophic state. The stucco was discolored and crumbling, the addition on the north side had been veneered using garden lattice and aluminum, and the outside was defaced with wires and tubing.
Since buying the home a year and a half ago in a transaction described my him as borderline insane, my friend had to wait for the current occupants, elderly individuals in need of round the clock care, to be moved to their new home before he could move in and begin any work. That took six months. It took another two months to reskim the stucco, and, while he was encouraged to demolish the addition added in the 60s, he went in the non-recommended opposite direction and rebuilt the infrastructure, recreated windows and doors to match the main house, added a porch on top surrounded by a retaining wall to perfectly match the porch below it, and converted the entire wing, which had formerly been the dormitory for the residents and was in ghastly and deeply disturbing shape, to a master suite with a closet larger than my living room. I cried when I saw that room. I also cried when he showed us the new living room/dining room/concert hall that had recently been completed. Two sets of pocket doors were recovered and refinished and replaced to lead from the foyer to this room, box beams were recreated to match the library across the hall, travertine floors were laid and a bathroom at the rear of this hall with its two filthy toilets was torn out and rebuilt to now contain an original claw-foot bathtub found in the prison-like basement bathroom.
As he walked us through the rest of the house and laid out the plans for work and Shelly and I sobbed a little at every bit of stone (hand carved to represent medieval-style woodland creatures) and woodwork and each piece of molding and leaded glass, I recalled a line from Pride and Prejudice, when Jane asked Lizzy when she first fell in love with Mr. Darcy. She replied that she could date it from first seeing his beautiful estate at Pemberly. When I asked him if he was dating anyone (because I have no boundaries and married people always want everyone else to be married), he replied no. I don't think that will be the case for long.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sasha can imitate us saying his name in a low growly voice perfectly, which he follows with his witch cackle. Why did I spend hundreds of dollars on toys when, more than anything else, he loves a brown sock knotted in the middle and chases it after he throws it across the cage, like a dog playing fetch. He then laughs again. It's the thing we can do to get him to stop yelling for us, make him laugh. He'll laugh and laugh and I really think he knows what it means, but, of course, the things he does are so funny that I'm sure previous owners have laughed when he did them, so it could be that he's just repeating a pattern. Still, it's adorable and a welcome change from the brakbrakbrakbrakbrakbrak we've been hearing for months.
Cyril now will yelp when Sasha is screaming, but it's kind of a small, squawky, shrieky sound that is more funny than annoying. He also fluffs up and then shrinks down with each exhale when squawking, so he looks like a blue poofball toy that's being squeezed.
Watching my beloved poopers makes it even harder for me to think about the birds Tina is trying to save in Panama. Apparently, the red tape is such that it may be impossible to bring them to the researcher who can save them. They will most likely be sold under the table as pets.
The captured parrot trade is a huge business in Central and South America as well as Africa and Australia as netting and then selling birds is a hugely profitable endeavor as there's almost no expenditure required, just brutal nets that tangle feet and wings. The death rate of parrots captured and then transported for sale is between 40 and 50 percent, according to CITES. The sale of captured, wild birds is illegal in the US and the EU, but birds still enter the country through smuggling and are then sold to unscrupulous pet shops. These wild and ill-treated birds understandably make very poor pets and often die from starvation due to neglect in new homes.
I really think I need to get involved. Information will be forthcoming.