Friday, September 17, 2010

tuppence a bag

this year i got my gardening under control rather early and easily which meant i could turn my attention to... the birds.
i bought a bird feeder and a bag of bird seed and i found the perfect little area in my yard and i began to nurture the neighborhood birds. 
it quickly got out of control. i'm now nurturing a large, assorted flock of very fat birds that go through a 20 pound bag of bird seed every two weeks. 
midsummer, these fat birds learned a very harsh life lesson about complacency when the neighborhood cats found out about my yard. the flock became smaller and i felt accountable. for i was the one who let the birds get fat and complacent. i was the one who shielded them from the world so they weren't prepared to face its dangers. 

have you ever had the weight of dead quail babies on your soul??

i have tried to explain to the cats that my backyard isn't their personal hunting ground, but they don't listen to reason. every few days i'll hear the birds squawking in terror so i've now gotten in the habit of going outside and personally escorting the cats out of my yard (i've also received a lot of horrifying advice about keeping cats out of my yard, the worst of which involved a pellet gun. i'm choosing at this time to not share my opinion on this) whilst giving them a sound lecture.

a couple of days ago i heard the birds squawking in terror and when i looked out the window i saw a little brown head popping out of my columbines. i made my habitual groan, shook my fist at the sky and walked out into the yard. "kitten," i began in my stern, lecturing voice... and then i stopped in my tracks. 
because i wasn't lecturing a cat.
i was lecturing a falcon.

and it was in no mood for a lecture.

i wanted to take a picture of it as proof, but it flew up into my neighbor's pine tree and wouldn't come out.
not even when i held up ziggy as bait.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

yes. i blog about my dog. deal with it.

i had to take my car to the mechanic's the other day and since i don't live too far away, i walked home after i dropped it off. i forced ziggy to come with me for a few reasons: first, walking a dog is fun. it's relaxing. it's norman rockwell and apple pie. second, after any walk that lasts more than 10 minutes, ziggy passes out for the rest of the day and i can go about my business in peace. third, i realized early in our relationship that ziggy is the ultimate "canine" protection. do you know what's better than a dog that will attack a sketchy person? a dog that charms sketchy people into protecting you. i'm not kidding. it's the old cliche "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." there is no context in which ziggy or i can beat anybody. so ziggy joins them and takes me with him.
it is uncanny. 

my 14 block walk up main street, detailed:
the first 2 1/2 blocks, ziggy and i were escorted by a man who i will not formally classify as  "a neonazi." during our walk together, he told me an anecdote which involved him smoking a bowl with his 17 year old son but before you judge his parenting skills i want you to bear in mind that his own father used to train rottweilers as fighting dogs by having them attack him. so, you know, there's that. ziggy had absolutely no problems with this man and as a result the man had no problem with me (thankfully), the uptight chick with the han solo button on her purse.

ziggy and i then walked a block with a lady going through chemo. ziggy tried to hitch a ride on her bike and took it personally when i held him back. 

we walked with three construction workers for a while who used to go watch greyhound races. ziggy relieved himself in front of them and i looked down at my feet in shame. 

we walked with a woman who'd just quit her job. this might surprise you but i empathized with her quite a bit.

ziggy stopped and sniffed three soldiers who had just had lunch. i stared down at my feet again because the only thing i could think to comment on was how they were all wearing kicky berets and that is not an appropriate thing to comment on to three army men. 

we walked with a business man who was obviously thinking about other things because he kept asking, "now, what kind of dog is that?" 

we talked to a man eating lunch on his balcony. it had a rather rapunzelish feel to it. 
except that i am not a prince. 
and he was completely bald.

and we walked for quite a while with a 90 year old widow who was getting ready to move back to california. she lives in the same building my grandparents used to live in. she tried to convert me to her church and wouldn't believe me when i said i was already a member. probably because i'm an uptight chick with a han solo button on my purse. regardless, she hugged and kissed me goodbye.

so don't worry about me, because i have a dog with mind-control powers.

Monday, September 13, 2010


one of my favorite shows of all time is "newsradio." i quote it a lot and since most people haven't really watched it, they think i'm funny.
there's this one episode where the incompetent matthew earns the chance to go to the new hampshire primaries but of course he ends up not wanting to go to new hampshire and when asked why not he says, "um, ya... i have cats."

i am matthew.
partly because i'm incompetent.
mostly because i had a couple of "i have cats" conversations this weekend.

one of my favorite people was visiting this weekend and during dinner he asked if i was still yearning to move to arizona, land of warmth and sunshine and no winter inversions. 
and also no daylight savings.
i had a very weird, matthewesque reaction to his very natural question where i was like, "um, ya, i have cats." and okay, i don't have cats but i have family, and friends, and neighbors, and a place to live, and stuff to do, and a ziggy.
i doubt lincoln was looking for that fascinating glimpse into my psyche when he asked his question, but there you have it. 
cuz i'm keeping it real.

then yesterday i had a similar reaction. i went to a brunch and listened to, more than participated in, a conversation where these three girls talked about wanting to live outside of the country. they were very enthused. i sat there thinking about how much i don't want to move to a different country and learn a new language and prove that i can make it on my own. 
it would be really interesting and i'm sure it's the thing julia roberts movies are made of, but come on.
i have cats.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

i was watching an episode of "northern exposure" last night and i think i kind of resemble a moose.
i'm just saying.

do you ever play that game where you decide what animal people look like? i do- usually when i'm watching tv or really bored at church- but here's some advice... don't share your opinions because there is only one animal comparison people will be flattered by and that is the chipmunk.
or maybe a bunny.

i wish i had more to say.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


during the last 37 years of blogging, i've talked a lot about my grandma (mom's mom) whom i lived with and also my grandfather (dad's dad) who kind of didn't like me, but i don't think i've ever talked about my other grandmother (dad's mom).
so let's get into it.
my grandmother is a sweet, funny woman who talks exactly like judy holliday in "born yesterday."

she grew up in the bronx with her brother, mother and cab driving, cuban stepfather. during ww2 she joined the w.a.c.s and that is when she met and married my grandfather. someday i'll put a clip on here of my grandfather telling the story of their first date. spoiler!: it involves my grandmother almost falling out of the airplane my grandfather was flying.

top that.

anyways, my grandmother and i had lunch together today (and by that i mean that i was visiting my grandmother when the "meals on wheels" lady made her delivery and gave me one of the extra meals she had (have you ever had pork with raisin sauce? neither had i)) and midway through the meal my grandmother had an epiphany. "oh, i know what's wrong," she said, "i don't have my teeth in!"
and then she stood up and left the room.
"hu," said i, and then i ate my apple sauce.
when my grandmother came back into the kitchen, she looked at my plate and said, "you're already finished?"
"well, ya. i already had my teeth in."

a while ago h recommended a movie where one of the young characters moves in with her grandmother at a retirement community and i was like, "yep, that's definitely a movie i would relate to."
and i watched it.
and it was definitely a movie i related to.