Sorry, Birdie: Updated

I apologize for bumming y’all out. And, I have much more fun posts in the pipeline here. But I feel the need to share.

 This morning, while walking my dog, I saw what looked like a bird’s nest. Only, I was looking down when I spotted it; i.e., it was on the ground, specifically on my neighbor’s walkway, under the tree. Something is wrong with this picture, I thought. I crept closer to investigate, cautiously so as not to frighten any birds. A non-injured bird did fly away from next to the nest, and I suspect that this bird did not belong to that nest and was just checking things out as I was. When I got closer, I realized there was a bird there, but it had apparently landed upside down, so that its head ended up between the walkway and the grass edge. It was breathing, steadily, in and out, as if it were sleeping.

It so happens that we have a wildlife rescue place really close to us. We found this out after some inquiries when a bird was sitting on our porch, and we deduced that it had flown into our front door and stunned itself. The nice people at Second Chance Wildlife Center tried, but our porch bird didn’t make it through the night. It had too much brain damage. Anyway, I checked the site and discovered that Second Chance doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m. which was still 2 hours away at that point. I decided I’d go to work, then call my neighbor and clue her into the existence of Second Chance (you really wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew it was there) in case she wanted to take it there. Her kids would probably love to go, I reasoned, because they have skunks and turtles and other things you don’t see all the time, getting all better so they can be released. She wasn’t home. I left a message.

 My husband, upon hearing this story said I could have woken him up. I wish I had. Even if my neighbor got the message, there’s a good chance the bird would have expired on its own, or had become an easy target for a feral cat.

I failed you, little birdie. I hope where you are now there’s endless clear blue sky, gourmet bird seed, and nests that stay put.

Update: I finally spoke to my neighbor, and she did get my message. She said that when she went to check it out, the bird was still belly-up and breathing, as it had been when I saw it.  She returned the nest to the tree and placed the bird back in there.  She told me that the “Mama bird” came back to feed it, and kept doing so for about a week.  After that, the nest was abandoned.  We don’t understand why, but at least we know the fallen bird kept going strong for a week, so it wasn’t doomed like I’d thought.  So I feel much better about the whole thing.

Just Trying to Decide

There’s so much to gripe about! I can’t decide what direction to take.

How about we take a break from complaining about life for a funny story.

We registered ourselves, including the kids, for the National Race for the Cure. For those who have been living under a rock, this race is a 5K put on by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to raise money for breast cancer research. Gazillions of people attend the “national” one here in D.C. as well as in other cities. This morning, I showed Einstein his T-shirt and said, “look at the really cool shirt you get to wear to the race!”

He asked, “We’re going to a race?”

“Yes.”

“Is it a running race?”

“Well, yeah, it’s a running race, but I think we’ll probably walk. It’s fun! You’ve been to it before. We went two years ago.”

“Did I win?”

What It Is (updated)

I hope this story does not disappoint; it is more explanatory than exciting. 

“12tequilas” does not refer to some sort of drinking record I held in college (sorry to disappoint you). The story begins in 1985 when a friend of mine, who is responsible for a large part of my musical exposure, played me Side 1 of Marillion‘s Misplaced Childhood album, which was new then. Fast forward to 1987, I’m in Israel (spring semester, senior year, high school), in another friend’s dorm room, looking through his tapes, and I come upon a copy of MC. Remembering how much I enjoyed the initial listen, I asked to borrow the tape, and my life was forever changed.

I listened in the headphones the next day while on a bus ride to I-forget-where. I was somewhat homesick on this particular morning, but I got lost in the music and forgot all about everything else. Have you ever had that happen? I’ve listened to this zillions of times subsequent but it’s never as good as the time when you “get” it.  Anyway, when I returned to the States I promptly bought my very own copy of MC as well as Clutching at Straws, which had been released that year. Then I went back and bought the first two records, and on until the present (album 15 is due this fall). I’ve remained a loyal fan, even though there was a significant change in personnnel not long after the events I described. I also follow the solo career of the lost singer, Fish, who will be playing the 9:30 Club on June 22.

Remember when we were setting up our first e-mail accounts, and how we really wanted to come up with clever and original usernames that aptly described us while being relatively easy to remember and not sounding stupid? So of course I had to be really cool and come up with a Marillion-related name for me. I decided to base my name on the following lyric, from the song “Lady Nina”:

You pick out your credit cards/And check into the night/A dozen tequilas/And you’re feelin’ all right

Compuserve wouldn’t let me use “dozentequilas”–too many letters. So I thought, let’s make this even more cryptic and write it as “12tequilas.” Nope! Those fools decreed I couldn’t start my username with numerals. I did the best I could, shortening to “doztequila.” In fact, my Yahoo! login is still “doztequila,” but I’ve always hated that. No one understood that “doz” stood for “dozen”; I think people thought the tequila was making me doze, or something. Imagine my joy when the technology became more flexible and I could be 12tequilas as I had originally envisioned.

Now all my secrets have been revealed to the Internet.

By the way, the Marillion fans don’t get the reference either. I should have been a bit more obvious, but at least it’s  original. Marillion’s most well known song “Kayleigh” has been the impetus for many M-fan’s daughter’s names. So transparent!

Tune in next time when I will tell you all about my health issues! You’ll be on the edge of your seats.

UPDATED: I’ve been asked to post Marillion videos; Mark, your wish is my command. Hard to pick, but I’ll give you something old and something new.

First is Lady Nina, since we were talking about it and all. This is the ’80s when they still had all their hair. The frontman is the one I’m going to see next month. Keep in mind that this is a B-side, and it is more toward the pop end than most of their stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBoL-DjMptk

Next, here’s Neverland, a live performance from 2004. This song killed live, is why I picked it; hopefully the magic will translate on the small screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeoxxpVUQgs

Beautiful Kittenfish, Sleep Baby Sleep

I brought up about a jillion subjects in my intro post, all of which I figured I’d get back to eventually. One that is foremost in my mind was only briefly mentioned, which is my sleep deprivation.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a time when I was getting the right amount of sleep. Maybe when I was unemployed. I’m one of those people who actually probably needs more than eight hours; more likely nine. But since I stopped having a parent-mandated bedtime, and started staying up doing homework or talking on the phone (at which point I also started sleeping on the school bus), I have not been good about this. At least then I could “make up for it” by sleeping in on weekends. Remember being able to stay in bed past NOON?!?

But now, I have two children, and I’ve had them since they were zygotes. Their existence started affecting my sleep when they were born (well, being pregnant with them made me more tired, but work with me here). I remember well the sleep deprivation caused by a newborn. As bad as it is now, it was worse then, because when you have a newborn your sleep is broken up. Seven hours of sleep may sound like a decent amount, but when you get no more than two hours at a time, it will never feel like enough.

It’s better now, because I can sleep in a solid block. The problem is that the solid block is not long enough. Are you ready for this? I sleep five hours a night, sometimes less. Yeah, I said five. How do I survive? I think my body is actually used to this. I still feel pretty brain dead a lot of the time, and I have done the stupidest things since this began. I never ever bounced a check until a couple of years ago when I screwed up a transfer from my savings account. I’ve shaved the same leg twice. I’ve walked out into oncoming traffic. A couple of bills didn’t get paid on time because I didn’t click all the way through to “thank you for your payment.” They don’t care that I “almost” paid it, or that the intention was there. This ain’t horseshoes, baby. I hear myself saying “I am such a moron” at least once a day.

I subscribed to Shape magazine for a long time, and for a while there, I’d say every third issue or so would include something saying that lack of adequate sleep does any one of many bad things to you. Increasing your cancer risk is the one I remember most. There are studies going on right now that say sleep deprivation makes you fat.

 A Washington Post article says that “[b]eyond leaving people bleary-eyed, clutching a Starbucks cup and dozing off at afternoon meetings, failing to get enough sleep or sleeping at odd hours heightens the risk for a variety of major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, recent studies indicate.”

So I’m setting myself up for bad stuff. And it ain’t so great now, what with feeling like I’m going to fall over any minute. The worst part is that sometimes in the evening I’ll be, say, folding a load of laundry while watching a TV program. I might finish the folding, and the program might have ended, but do I get off the couch and get ready for bed immediately? No! Why not? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count. That’s right, because I’M TOO TIRED TO MOVE.

Hubby and I used to have a system whereby I would get up with kids on Saturday and he would get up with kids on Sunday (unless we had somewhere to be, of course). That system has gone out the window. Mostly he gets to sleep in. Sound unfair? It is, unless you take into account the fact that hubby has trouble sleeping, for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into (except to say that I don’t think it’s any one thing that he could correct, like, he could stop staring at the computer or TV in the evening, but that would only fix one part of the problem, and I think he needs to see a sleep specialist, but so far he won’t, which I understand because it’s one more medical thing to have to do, blah blah blah). Suffice it to say, most nights he can’t get to sleep until 4:00 a.m., and to make him get up with the kids when I’ve been asleep since the totally reasonable hour of 1:00 a.m. would not be nice of me. (I’m nice, or so I’m told. A “people pleaser,” even, which is not necessarily a good thing. There’s yet another subject for a future post. Perhaps I should start writing these down.)

What to do? While we are on the subject of TV, it would probably be good if I gave that up. If I slept more instead of watching TV, or even if I accomplished more things instead of watching TV, it would help. I might need to decide that I “need” to watch X, Y, and Z show, and leave it at that. But other than that, I just don’t know.

So, those of you who are not face down in your keyboard from reading this, feel free to chime in! Comiserate! Chide! And, could you hit that snooze button for me? Thanks.

P.S. Should I explain “12 Tequilas”? Anyone curious?

This is Me

It should be “This is I.” I know, because I is a editer. But according to some, “It’s me” is accepted, so I’m going with “This is Me,” so as not to sound overly formal. I reserve the right to use bloggish sentence structure here too, so expect split infinitives and the like. As well as incomplete sentences. Like that one.

Let’s see…the basics. I’m 38 years old, and usually feel like I’m still 25, except at the end of the day when I tend to feel like I’m 90. I’m really just starting to notice the signs of getting to be not-young-anymore. Like extra lines on my face. Like weight creeping on if I’m not careful (more about that later). Knock on wood, though, no gray hairs yet. I am blessed with thick, curly, red hair. I have never had my hair permed or colored, but the trade-off is a constant battle against frizz, which requires product of course (which I affectionately refer to as “hair goop”), and this weighs down the curls.

(Second paragraph, and I’m already talking about my hair. Could be because I just received this nifty e-mail that linked me to photos taken at my friend’s daugher’s bat mitzvah, in which I make a brief appearance, and I’m happy to say they came out good.)

I’m married for a decade. My husband is wonderful, generous, caring, and all that good stuff. I would say that he is, occasionally, an asshole, but I haven’t decided if I’m cluing him in to my presence on this blog or not. Linda’s husband introduced me to mine, and that is a very fun story for another time.

Here’s something else I have in common with Linda: I also have two boys. At this moment they are approximately 5.2 and 2.5. I’m going to call them Einstein and Pumpkin after their stuffed animals, because I’d rather not use their real names here. As with most children, they never cease to amaze me. Last night I was in a terrible mood for various reasons, and the kids did not cease to annoy me. Boy was I evil. And yet, this morning I got the usual hugs and kisses from Einstein (the early riser) before I left for work. Could that be any more awesome? (One of the high points of my weekend was the look on Einstein’s face when, as we drove on a speed-bump-laden road, I said “1…2…3…WHEE!” on each bump. I thought he was too old for that, but his big grin said otherwise.)

My employer is a legal/regulatory publishing house. Our customers are subscribers of two-hundred-and-something different services covering every area there is, pretty much. It’s specialized news, analysis, manuals, portfolios, etc. In my little corner is media law and intellectual property law, and I write, edit, and sometimes even pose as a reporter. They call me a “Legal Editor.” My mother tells everyone I work on a law journal, because she can’t explain it, and that sounds good to her. Others have said I write for a “newsletter” and my husband’s aunt asked, “so, you proofread?” It’s sort of like Chandler on Friends–no one understands what I do (“something to do with transponding…he’s a transponster!”). I have a law degree from the Catholic University of America. (Yes, Jews attend that school. Did I mention I was Jewish? Being Jewish at a Catholic university is another fun story for another time.)

Family and work. What else is there? There should be more, but this is my chief complaint: I don’t really have time for more. I was recently asked to describe what I enjoy doing when I am not working. I wished I could have mentioned any of a list of things, but it wouldn’t have been accurate. I said “reading and spending time with my kids.” This is true; I love doing any number of things with the kids. I love to read, too, and I’m blessed (?) with a LONG train ride to and from work — the perfect opportunity (except for the fact that I can no longer stay awake on the train; see supra Getting Old and infra Never Sleeping Enough).

But I’d like to say that when I’m not working I like to cook! Work out! Practice the guitar! Sing in a choral group! Dance! Create iTunes playlists! Even, Organize my house! I’m sure I would be enjoying those things if I had time (and money, let’s not forget that) to do them. (I do cook, sometimes, but not enough to call it a hobby.) More on all this later, too. Are you intrigued? Does this read better than a Harlequin romance? A comic book? Harry Potter? (If you think so, check out my old blog here: http://www.momsbuzz.com/blogs/abitbetter. I had virtually no readers there, but my comment area was always full of that automatic inappropriate junk that I had to manually delete. There needs to be a stronger word for that than “spam.”)

I suppose I should mention politics, though I’m not much of debater. Sorry, Linda, but I’m a Clinton supporter. I’m not going to go into all the reasons. I don’t feel as if I would add much to the discussion that is all over the ‘net. My posts are not likely to focus on this, but I’ll probably post a few joyous words when she wins 😉

Okay, I think I’ve given you the basics. Looking forward to hanging out with everyone here!

The Necessary Test

Good morning, everyone. Linda has been kind enough to set me up here, but naturally I have to post something completely meaningless to start, in order to ascertain the electronic integrity of whatever I might do next. So I’ll go ahead and smack this up on the wall, and you can expect that the next post will be a true introduction.