oiran: cherry blossom (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Birds attacking...something. Probably another bird.

My first glance at el blotto gave me a bit of a start - something subliminal and fleeting and unpleasant - and then I recognized the birds. I used to have 5 birds, but age and illness have reduced their number to 2. It wasn't until we got our first bird that I discovered that people are mostly wary of birds, if not outright afraid of them. Even having seen Hitchcock's The Birds, I really didn't understand that it was a common phobia and not just a quirky fear of Mr. Hitchcock's that he self-indulgently put to film. I've never been afraid of either snakes or spiders and I do realize that that is a bit unusual, especially since everyone else in my family is frightened of them. However, I never would have guessed that lacking a fear of birds was at all deviant.

Most people who have explained their bird fear to me indicate that it intensifies with proximity. A bird over there, in a tree, is pretty. A bird that flies near you is undoubtedly aiming for your eyes - how near constiitutes "near" is determined on an individual basis. Biting is also a concern. Being pooped on, which I would consider the main bird risk, is not even mentioned.

There was a series, just called Birds, if I remember correctly, which was hosted by David Attenborough and aired on PBS in the U.S. It has probably aired since, but the initial run occurred during a time when DVRs did not exist and our VHS was uncooperative, so I missed all of the series despite very much wanting to see it. Well, almost all of it.

The single episode of Birds that I did manage to see was the homicidal cannibal episode, wherein birds behaved like junior high girls, ganging up on the weak in shrilling packs, pecking at their eyes, beating them with their wings, and ousting them from nests. The most benign behavior was egg destruction, frequently to replace the hapless parents' own eggs with the attacker's eggs. Because sad things make me cry, I was in mini-hysterics. The Mr. came in, saw what I was watching, and turned it off. It had not occurred to me that I didn't have to watch. 

Yes. It's definitely birds attacking another bird. Horrid.
oiran: cherry blossom (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I have the flu. I don't think it's swine flu, but it's not like I would be able to tell. I called my doctor and wanted an antiviral just in case, but they're being stingy with them, probably because everyone is clamoring for pills. However, I'm not just hysterical - I'm actually sick, and I've been sick with one thing or another for two months now, which seems to indicate that my immune system is not as robust as would be ideal.

I was well last week and  went to visit my friend, R., in Knoxville. We were all suffering from allergy issues but then the general itchy and scratchy feelings gradually began to seem like actual illnesses over the course of the weekend. I spent last night having awful joint aches, chills, and a throat so sore I couldn't swallow, and today I feel generally crappy, so any plan I might have had for avoiding contagion is sort of moot at this point. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, my plan is not to avoid, but to celebrate contagion and wallow in it like a pig swine.

As for quarantine, I live in a place where the climate is such that I spend 7-8 months of the year avoiding going outside because I truly cannot take the heat - it's an autonomic issue, not just me disliking the heat, though I do indeed hate it. Anyway, it's not as though quarantine is that far off from how I already live, so I'd probably be fairly unaffected by it.
oiran: cherry blossom (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I do have another name. Several of them, if we include online names. My given name is not the name I use - my "real" name isn't a secret, but it's not the name I prefer. The name I use is a man's name. It's a hick man's name, for that matter. It's my first initial and the first two letters of my last name, and it was suggested by an old work email address. It's a better fit than the girlie name I never liked, even though I am a fairly girlie girl. The only people who actually know me who don't call me by this hillbilly/hobo name are the members of my biological family. My relationship with my family is strained, at best, so the fact that they don't call me the right name is just another reason to seethe and fester every time we interact.

It's surprising how many people take offense at my preferred name when I am introduced. Older people tend to become very irritable and often challenge me on whether or not I have the right to be called whatever pleases me rather than a gender-appropriate name. I was getting a license for my scooter at the DMV the other day and had to sign an affadavit stating that my preferred name = same person as given name since the scooter shop wrote the preferred version on all the legal documents. The DMV lady suggested that I put the preferred name in quotes rather than bothering with a legal change, but I pointed out to her that there are too many people who won't call me what I like to be called if they know there's a girl name available. Based on her expression, I think she would probably be one of those people.

I have a pen name picked out for when I finish my book(s). I love the name, but it's not one I could actually use in everyday life due to vague and complicated feelings about its propriety/plausibility. Unlike my preferred name, the pen name has no relationship at all to my given name and, despite my dislike of my given name, it's what I went by for the first 30 or so years of my life. A derivative of that name makes sense to me in a way that a completely new name cannot. It's like my nose: I hate my profile, but I've had the same one for so long now that there doesn't seem to be much point in having it altered. I'm still going to be the person who hates her nose regardless of what that nose looks like.

oiran: cherry blossom (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd] At 19, visiting a friend in the nearest big city, a woman accosted me as I was getting on a bus, screaming, "Molly Ringwald! Kids, look, it's Molly Ringwald!" Her troupe of children came barreling after me, and I fled into the bus in a state close to terror. Unfortunately, as this was my first time riding the bus in Seattle, I didn't realize that, unlike my smalltown buses, it didn't just make a half-hour loop. If it had, I would have been back at my friend's apartment in about 15 minutes. Since it didn't, I rode around for 3 hours hoping to see something I recognized, at which point the driver kicked me off (nicely) and directed me to another bus going the right direction.

more famous and some not )
oiran: cherry blossom (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Bad drivers. People who talk on the phone and/or eat and/or fiddle around with stuff in the passenger seat and/or turn around to talk to their kids in the back while they're meant to be paying attention to the task of piloting a ton of metal and flammable liquids across an unforgiving surface at high speed. People who don't use their turn signals because they're either lazy or doing one of those other things mentioned above. People who drive 20 mph, then 70 mph, then 20 mph, then 70 mph, and then go 90 mph when you try to pass them. People who don't understand what to do at a 4-way stop and either barrel through out of turn, or insist on waving everyone from the other three points through because they have no idea when their turn is supposed to be. Basically, anyone doing anything stupid in or with a vehicle, which is often everyone on the road but me. I am a perfect driver, of course, except I do like to speed - often simply to get away from the other drivers.

The state we live in has no requirements that people take any sort of driver's ed classes, and it's very obvious when out on the road. My best friend has always been an inattentive driver, but now that she has a kid, I'm actually afraid to drive with her because she tends to put the emphasis on parenting when she's behind the wheel.

Lazy idiots.  Here's an example.  At least she admits that her only reason for registering is to get someone to make her something. Would it kill these people to, I don't know, say "hello" before asking for things? I was raised by wolves and sometimes run roughshod over the more delicate of the social graces, but I can't imagine ever thinking it was acceptable to wander into strangers' houses and ask them to do me favors.

December 2011

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