Tuesday, May 13, 2008

for the birds

This past Saturday, while Ryan and Jim were busy preparing a meal for 60 of our closest friends, I spent the afternoon in the backyard pulling weeds out of the garden along the side fence. Ick. However, I did have some company.The first to visit was this white-crowned sparrow. We only see these in the Spring here in upstate New York. Sometimes in the Fall on their way back South. Check out those racing stripes on his head. Yes, grackles are bothersome, but this one was cute, dancing around, trying not to get too close to me. When the sun hits them in just the right way, grackles really do have some beautiful, iridescent plumage.
It's hard to tell in this photo, but that reddish splotch up there on the right is a male house finch courting his mate (on the left). Those two chased each other around in that tree for several minutes before the finally flew off.

I had other assorted visitors, including the usual suspects of chickadees, goldfinches, a female downy woodpecker and lots of sparrows and squirrels. Nothing out of the ordinary, but living in the city makes it difficult when you're an avid birder.

I headed off to church around 5 p.m. that night for Ladies Night...a fine dining and entertainment experience hosted by the men of the church. As I pulled in the parking lot, lo and behold, I spotted a female merganser lazily swimming around in one of the front retention ponds. Figure that one out! I spooked her when I tried to take her picture. Nuts.I did snap this shot of an eastern bluebird perched on the front sign who was hanging around. Didn't seem at all worried about me being there.

I wish I had a really awesome digi-cam that would actually take decent photos of these birds. My skills just don't do them enough justice. Ryan. Birthday in a month. Hint hint hint.

Friday, May 09, 2008

it's a good thing it's Friday (Murphy's Law)

Wednesday I shelled out $347.62 for car repairs.

I got to work this morning and my computer was completely wiped clean of all my stuff. No network access, no programs, no e-mail, no calendar, no bookmarks, no nothing. For four hours I sat around not doing much of anything. Meanwhile, the pile of unfinished work on my desk just kept getting bigger, while Computer Guy Matt took forever trying to fix me.

Then the mail came.

I have waited for the mail all week, knowing I'd have this necklace I ordered from Silpada in time for the weekend. The necklace wasn't at all the color I wanted and had weird odd-ball beads mixed in. Didn't look a thing like in the catalog or at the party I went to last week. Luckily, the rep is a very nice lady who is working out the return for me right away.

I also had a minor screw-up on a Notice of Appeal I filed the other day. Not a huge deal, but still a pain in the neck.

I didn't have time to take lunch yesterday and maybe not today either, and no, I don't get comp time.

I broke the antenna off of a co-worker's radio.

Please hurry, 5:00 p.m.!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

my ode to William Carlos Williams

So much depends on the fire-and-ice stripes of the fading sunset at 8:38 p.m. while thoughts of Bach float around in my head. Sometimes the world still makes sense.

Monday, May 05, 2008

how not to spend your Saturday afternoon

If it can at all be avoided, do NOT let your car die in front of Wegmans in the middle of Monroe Avenue in Pittsford on a Saturday afternoon. This is a very bad idea.

Friday, May 02, 2008

city living

I love living in the Southwedge. I love being close to everything. I love being able to walk up the street to the corner market, the corner bar, and the corner concert venue. I like that I can easily get to the river trail and Mt. Hope Cemetery without even getting in the car.

On the flip-side, there is always something going on in our neighborhood. Always. Family fights, loud rap music, weird smells, stray cats, etc. Last month my bike got stolen. A few weeks ago, someone's dog was hit by a car right in front of our house. I won't even mention when Ryan had to testify against our neighbors in city court earlier this year.

So, last night as we were just finishing dinner, we didn't think it was unusual for a police car or two to fly down the street with lights flashing, etc. But then two more came. And then more, and more, and more. By now our curiosities were piqued. We hadn't had that much excitement since last summer when the house a few doors down caught fire and the street was blocked off for several hours. We went outside but couldn't see anything...the action was at least a dozen houses down, on the other side of the street. I grabbed my binoculars, but they didn't help much amidst all the flashing lights.

Of course, this kind of activity is a great way to meet neighbors. People came out of their houses and were walking up and down the street with us. As we headed back inside upon determining we probably weren't going to get any details, one of the neighbors asked an officer, "is this another fire?", which of course referred to the blaze from last summer. "No," the officer replied, "there's someone who has psychiatric problems who needs to go to the hospital."

I don't know what kind of "psychiatric problems" require at least 20 cop cars, 2 ambulances and a firetruck hauling ass down a residential street.

Well, I heard on the radio this morning there was a stabbing of a police officer who responded to an initial call from that house. Probably a domestic issue or mental hygiene thing. So a cop got stabbed and that is always call for front-page news in this town. Read the RNews story here.

Never a dull moment!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Last night at dinner, over some yummy pesto ravioli and made-from-scratch Alfredo, I remarked to Ryan about how life seems to be moving so fast these days and I can't seem to catch up. Sometimes I feel like it's leaving me behind, in a sense.

We've watched just about all of our closest friends marry. Then they started buying houses and having kids. Now our parents are aging, some with pretty complicated health issues.

"They're not going to die soon," he told me later as we were sitting on the couch digesting.
"It's going to be sooner than later." I crossed my arms over my chest and pouted a little.

I haven't had the best relationship with my parents; my father especially. We are polar opposites in many ways, including our social, political and economic views. I vehemently disagree with a lot of the choices they have made throughout their lives, for which they are now suffering the consequences.

"But how will I be my Mom's kid without my Mom? I still feel like I'm 12 years old sometimes!"
"Honey, you're being irrational. You'll always have a mother, alive or dead. Yay, Scooter's face doesn't smell like cat-butt anymore."

Love that Ryan, I do. He is always the voice of reason and the master of changing the subject.