Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Our social worker contacted us today. A family emergency, now mostly resolved, had kept her from the office, but she's back and will complete our homestudy this weekend.

I'm more than relieved-I could feel the depression and defeat I've been smothered under lift once I knew that we could move forward without having to begin again. We would have needed to wait until February to redo all of the home visits and necessary appointments, what with my absurd schedule over the next three months.

I am hoping that all will be well and that we can start matching soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whither and whence the whinging?

I don't know if it's the shifting weather patterns or that everyone is fed to the teeth with Dino Rossi's teeth-gnashingly oily and insinuating election commercials, but there has been a definite tendril of rudeness wafting into my environment today. This morning's bus driver, after reluctantly stopping for me as I ran down the cigarette butt-littered sidewalk, waving at him as he pulled away from the curb, chastised me, as I breathlessly climbed the stairs, to "Move faster next time." Even my winning smile just succeeded in making him look more disgruntled.

Then, upon arriving at my chilly office, a terse and accusatory email from an accounting unit on campus was waiting there to accuse me of not performing my duties, despite evidence in the form of an email from August proving that I had, in fact, done exactly what they asked me to, and it was, to be precise, said accounting unit's fault for not keeping me abreast of developments as I am not privy to any successive communication between the troublesome accounting unit and the sponsor. And this charming epistle received more than a year after my initial attempt to solicit the aid of the truculent accounting unit over this very issue, which they ignored except in a cursory manner until nine months after the previously mentioned first contact and despite my repeated attempts to address this issue with them, the only organization who could accomplish my required task. Oh, and, at one point, they told me they had lost the file.

And, to add a layer of ice to the permafrost which is my day, the shipping rep on the phone repeatedly interrupted my responses to her questions with the phrase, "I understand that, but..." in a crisp and almost crunchy tone quite unlike the one of simple syrup sweetness spooned over me at the outset of the call.

What for the ornery and combative mien, Mr. Bus Driver? Why you up in my grille, Accountancy Bizznatch? Must you be so gosh darn mean, Shipping Lady? I promise the election will all be over soon, and, if it's the cold that ails you, I hear Florida is lovely this time of year. And, if you relocate to that sunny, tropical shore, you can help swing that state to Obama! Won't that feel good? Won't that put a smile on that grumpy face?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chelonian Crusader

In my fantasy life, I am a superhero, living in the jungles and on the seacoasts of Costa Rica, fighting to save sea turtles from human predation and parrots from horrifying harvesting practices used in the illegal pet trade. In real life, I'm just torturing myself by frequently searching Petfinder and Craigslist for unwanted parrots, and boy, do I find them, in tragic spades shaped like insufficient cages littered with inappropriate perches and nutritionally deficient seed as the only food.

It's the special needs birds who make my stomach clench and blood vessels dilate with worry and longing. It's the plucked macaws and the semi-blind juvenile Amazons (a four month old orange-winged Amazon whom I want to buy and love and kiss and hug but my mean husband won't let me near enough to smuggle out in my coat) who make me wish that we had the means to build a bird room right now and give all of these troubled little souls a place where they'll be loved and can rely on us for everything they need and want. I mean really, what's one more bird? Or twelve.

I've said it innumerable times on this blog alone, but I wish there were a way to truly educate everyone in the world about care of exotics, especially parrots, as any creature with the average intelligence of a kid in preschool requires exceptional provisions which cannot be attended to without extensive research. The World Parrot Trust works uphill towards this goal and they even have John Cleese promoting their work, but the public at large has little interest in the issue, as most of them are unaffected. It's not those people at whom I'm pointing my finger of reproach.

I want to prevent parrots from being sold in pet stores, from being impulse buys, from being traded like baseball cards and sold like old couches on free websites. I want every parrot purchase to be either from a licensed, inspected, reputable, loving, small aviary breeder or rescue organization. No mills, no chain stores, no seed, only cage and enrichment requirements and proper diets, and no need for the ASPCA to intervene.

There's a part of me, and not a small part, that wants to quit this singing nonsense and do something worthwhile. Maybe I can somehow couple my zeal for saving the chickerns with my notion of opening a laundromat for the homeless. And I just now realized that I have a Messianic complex. Be saved!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I think we're going to have to start over with the homestudy. It's been a month with no word from the social worker, and I'm just about fed up. If the market hadn't uttery collapsed and we were able to get financing, this would have been an even more aggravating problem, but I supposed the disaster has bought us a little bit more time. I'm dreading having to do all of our paperwork over again, but I'm willing to do it if we absolutely have to. I suppose this is another test of how much we want a kid.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sitting on my Hands

Things I'm waiting for:

1.  The homestudy to finally be complete so we can send it to the agency.  
2.  The financing to come through.
3.  My conflicts to be okayed by one of the companies I'll be singing for so I can buy plane tickets to and from Spokane before the prices go up.
4.  The agency to review our dear birthparent letter and photo portfolio so we can make changes and get it back by the time our homestudy is done.
5.  A possible reclass at work so I won't have to be an assistant anymore.
6.  The election to be over so I can stop wondering if we are inevitably descending into a fascist state.
7.  This week to be over so we can finally start rehearsals and I can stop wondering if people are going to find out that I'm a hack and fire me.

It's all out of my hands.  Not even buying yarn will make my waiting tolerable.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


You know why Sasha's looking straight at the camera? He's subliminally telling me that he's only allowing Christian to hold him like this because I'm on the opposite side of the room, and that he'll bite my face off if I come any closer. I used the zoom. It was necessary for my health and well-being.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Good Bones

It's a sprain, we had Pierre's tiny wing x-rayed at the emergency clinic by a vet who actually knew about exotics, which was surprising and nifty.  She also had fantastic hair.

She gave us three days of pain meds compounded with an anti-inflammatory and he's already showing improvement.  As a bonus, she gave us Pierre's digital scans so we could bring them to our regular vet, so they must, of course, go on the blog:

Tiny chicken head!  Look at those wee, wee boneses!  So dainty, he is.  Poor sweet injured peanut.  You can see the damage on the left hand side, the grey by the left elbow is the mass of swelling.  In larger birds, the injured wing is usually strapped to the body so it remains immobile, but a bird as tiny as Pierre would be quite difficult to find a wrap that wouldn't double his inconsiderable body weight.  Hee hee.  The image makes me giggle.  Tiny mummy.  But, he's now resting comfortably, drugged, in his corner-free plastic container.  He's my problem child. 

Protect them from me.

I am a curse.  I am a jinx, a plague, a blight, a scourge.  Pierre has now injured his wing, and it's completely my fault.  He's in a round Rubbermaid container to keep him from having a place to strop his beak and reopen his injury, and that container was on top of the secretary in the bird room.  The cord for the heating pad underneath was hanging down in front, and the secretary must have been too full, as the front door opened, pulling his container down with it.  He sprained his wing in the fall, and the joint is swollen.  The vet is closed until tomorrow, but the doctor isn't in until Tuesday, so we're going to give him cayenne pepper as a natural anti-inflammatory until we can get him in.  He can still use the wing, he's holding it slightly away from the body, as I don't think the inflammation will allow him to close it completely.  

I don't know what more I could possibly do to that little bird.  We didn't separate him and Fritz and he received his beak injury, we didn't anticipate that he would continue to try and clean his beak and he repeatedly reopened his injury, and now I actually caused an injury to him, directly.  I should be forcibly separated from the birds.  I shall henceforth be known as Typhoid Suzy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


On reading about Joe Biden (from

1. Given an F grade by the NRA regarding pro-gun issues.
2. Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.
3. Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition, indicating an "anti-family" stance.

Since the enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess this makes Joe Biden my bestest chum ever.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Self Infliction

One of the things I didn't anticipate when Pierre got injured was that he would continually try to get off of his beak whatever it was that was continually annoying him.  This is obviously a problem as what's annoying him is the lack of beak.  Preening has become mostly impossible, but he sadly tries, and frustratedly shakes his head every time he fails to use the remnant to get his messy feathers ordered.  Because the parrot beak has a hole at the base and the two disparate sides can only join together in the egg, the lower mandible is only partially attached once broken, and must feel loose.  

When Christian went in to visit with the birds, he saw that Pierre's face was covered in blood, and that blood had splattered all over the hospital cage as well.  It was a horrible sight, and poor Pierre was still pushing his beak against the perch, most likely trying to make the pain stop.  We cleaned him up in warm water, and could see that he had stropped the live, remaining piece of beak until it pulled away from his jaw and bled.  The bleeding stopped and, once clean, we wrapped him in a towel and scratched him until he calmed down.  We returned him to his warm cage with the heating pad turned up and he even ate, which was unexpected.  For such a tiny, fragile little bird, he's a fairly resilient little bugger.

However, my biggest concern now is that he will repeatedly re-injure the beak until the piece that is left dies as well, and, as our vet doesn't have a call system, we couldn't contact her to ask what we should best do to prevent this from happening tonight.  I'm at an utter loss to know how to keep him from hurting himself.  He's had such a tough little life so far, I just want to make him happy and contented.  I suck at it so far.