I was just out watering my newly planted annuals with water from the dehumidifier. (This is a great, uber-oxygenated way to water your indoor plants. The fact that I was watering my outdoor annuals with it is a little obsessive, but hopefully excusable in a motherly sort of way.) I spotted a mottled, half-feathered, head-held-back, baby bird in the dewey grass. It held still at first but for the harried tension in its body and eyes. After actually propping myself into a sitting position two feet away from the bird, his head started darting side to side, and a small but firm squawk emitted. This is when I saw in the tree the mother robin, sitting anxiously with a worm in her beak. I stepped slowly back several feet. The mother swooped to the ground but wandered in a jagged line toward her fallen baby. She cocked her head as though waiting to hear the feeble cry. Nearly inches away, she unexpectedly fled back to the tree. Afraid my presence was impeding, I retreated closer to the house. “I’m not leaving though; I’m not missing this,” I said aloud. I think perhaps she darted to the tree to get a better overhead look of the yard; for when she returned to the earth, her path was more clear. The fledgling dutifully opened wide its beak, and before I realized the worm had dropped, the mother bird had gone. The baby started in denial, and I exited. I had been blessed by my moment, and I left the mother to care for her young.
Archive for May, 2007
Hey all! I’m finally getting some real gigs again! I hope you can make it out to one of the shows I have set up for June.
The first is not this Saturday but the next at Broadway Bistro. (See below.) That also happens to be the day that I move into my new apartment! I am kicking off the show from 8 to 9 p.m.
The second show will be at the Red Sea down in the Loop on Saturday, June 23. I get to open the night downstairs again from about 8 to 9 p.m. I’ll post again to remind and add any details.
Below are several news links (and some excerpts) that I have saved over the last few weeks. I’ve wanted to develop entries about each of them, but haven’t had or dedicated the time. Still, I’d like to share them.
Google Earth maps out Darfur atrocities
POSTED: 10:32 p.m. EDT, April 15, 2007
WASHINGTON(CNN) — If you Google the word Darfur, you will find about 13 million references to the atrocities in the western Darfur region of Sudan — what the United States has said is this century’s first genocide.
As of today, when the 200 million users of Google Earth log onto the site, they will be able to view the horrific details of what’s happening in Darfur for themselves.
In an effort to bring more attention to the ongoing crisis in Darfur, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has teamed up with Google’s mapping service literally to map out the carnage in the Darfur region.
Experts estimate that 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million more have been displaced since the conflict flared in 2003, when rebels took up arms against the central Sudanese government.
Bombings rattle classroom, unite students (I suggest watching the video.)
POSTED: 7:07 a.m. EDT, April 13, 2007
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Political science students at Baghdad University had barely begun a discussion of comparisons between the Iraq and Vietnam wars when suddenly nearby explosions shook the classroom.
The talk instantly shifted from a past conflict to the here and now — and what it’s like to live in a war zone when it’s unknown if a trip to school will be your last.
Yasser Thar, a junior, said such bombings fill him with fear and anxiety.
“I wonder if my family is OK because we have no idea where those bombs are landing,” he said.
More bombs went off. The students didn’t even flinch.
Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
Tuesday April 24, 2007
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.
Japan hospital opens drop box for unwanted babies
POSTED: 8:32 p.m. EDT, May 10, 2007
TOKYO, Japan (AP) — A Japanese hospital opened the country’s only anonymous drop box for unwanted infants Thursday despite government admonitions against abandoning babies.
The baby drop-off, called “Crane’s Cradle,” was opened by the Catholic-run Jikei Hospital in the southern city of Kumamoto as a way to discourage abortions and the abandonment of infants in unsafe public places. The hospital described it as a parent’s last resort.
A small hatch on the side of the hospital allows people to drop off babies in an incubator 24 hours a day, while an alarm will notify hospital staff of the new arrival. The infants will initially be cared for by the hospital and then put up for adoption.
“We started the service but hope it won’t be used,” head nurse Yukiko Tajiri said. “I hope it is seen as a symbol that we are always here for parents to share their difficulty.”
But government officials warned the service might only encourage more abandonments.
“In principle, parents should not abandon their babies anonymously,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Thursday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki meanwhile said it was “fundamental for parents to raise their children with their own hands.”
King Herod ‘s tomb found, archaeologist says (Of particular interest to me due to Israel vacation)
POSTED: 1:48 p.m. EDT, May 11, 2007
A cracked out homeless man who made a huge mistake 26 years ago can still make a difference – even when facing a horrible death.
This article made me cry.
1. Paid for gas with lottery tickets.
I don’t buy lottery tickets. I group them with gambling in my philosophy of “sorry, I don’t have enough money to spend money trying to win money that chances say I will likely lose anyway.” Or something like that. But it turns out that twice a year, my company gives out lottery tickets for each month each person has perfect attendance. I got four and won two free tickets plus $4.
But then last week, I lost my Visa check card, had to cancel it, and wait for a new one. Can we say pain in the ass? It’s surprising how many places don’t take checks anymore, including the gas station at which I spent $20 before realizing I didn’t have the cash or card to pay for it. PANIC! I had $14. Wouldn’t you know that I pulled out those lottery tickets I’d been meaning to turn in, and the guy equated the two free tickets to dollars, thereby allowing me to pay my bill by the skin of my teeth. Of course, I forfeited the possibility that I might perpetuate my winnings with the two free tickets, but under the circumstances, I could hardly complain.
2. Stopped in rush hour traffic so geese could cross the street.
Ridiculous, I know, but what could I do? The three birds already were standing in the middle of the street, having crossed the other lane. It’s not that I care that much about pesky geese life. They’re a foul creature. Pun intended. But geese are pretty large. Running them down would have been gross and unnecessary. Someone had to stop. What I couldn’t believe as I sat there already humored by this unusual event, is that the third goose took his damn sweet time. He actually decided to walk up the lane in front of me for a while rather than straight across. Of all the nerve!!