Tuesday, April 16, 2013

what side of the window are you on?

On one side of the window:


On the other side of the window:


Mr. House Finch (that’s the window screen you’re seeing).

And, Mrs House Finch:


The cats are settling in. They’re not allowed outside yet – they need to know, well and truly, that we live here now. And even so...I hear there are coyotes around. Gulp. Oh, and there are a ton of birds right outside, and I kinda want to give them a fighting chance, which might mean keeping Felinicus Beasties inside for a bit.

It’s been a blur of unpacking – there have been a couple of trips back up to Vermont to pick up stuff and work at my two jobs (two jobs? how the hell did that happen?). Yesterday I was super cranky, so today I headed outside a couple of times.

There’s not much to report on the immediate environs. There are some daffodils in a clearing out beyond the back yard.


I’ve been befriending them by removing the oak leaves they’re impaling.


There’s a boulder with some lichen.


That’s...about it. I’m sure if I keep staring at it, more stuff will show up. That’s generally how it works.


We do have some violets (I assume – the field guide’s buried in a box somewhere) growing in the front steps.

I also checked out a local park – within walking distance, but I wasn’t sure of that at the time, so I drove.


A stream in the woods. Ahhhh...OK, I can deal with this. Species composition a bit different from my usual haunts – way more oak than I’m used to, plus some yellow birch, hop hornbeam, musclewood, beech (including some biggies, so that’s cool), and shagbark hickory.

And these amazing creatures. Again: no field guide – I’m thinking, skunk cabbage?



No way. Wow.

The most bleached-out beech leaves I can recall:


It was during this exploration that I felt something on my belly – investigation revealed a friggin’ tick. Jeez louise. I pulled it off – it had only JUST started digging in. I fondled the rest of my body there in the woods (a most scandalous sight, I’m sure.) I checked myself out when I got home, too. But a couple of hours later, sitting at the island in the kitchen reading the internet, I felt something in my bellybutton. Goddamn. A deeply burrowed in tick.

I ransacked our bathroom looking for our tweezers, with no luck. Kevin wasn’t back from work yet, so I called our neighbor – howdy, neighbor! more on them later, they’re cool – and she had a go at it with her tweezers. She was able to extract...most of it. Just then, Kevin got in from work, and we took a spin down to the ER, just a few miles away.


not the first time we’ve seen a hospital band on this blog.

A lot of paperwork later, I emerged more-or-less tick free. Warm compresses three times a day, neosporin, any remaining body parts should surface. It was a honkin’ huge tick, so probably not the evil dread kind.

In the meantime.



I think Patton Oswalt said it best (except for the reference to insects), so I’m just going to quote him:

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

That’s the side I want to be on. The side of love, delight, hope, and laughter.

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