Monthly Archives: March 2009

The rites (and wrongs) of spring

Some people have bats in their belfry. I have birds in my wall. Here’s a picture of their front door:

That’s the wall outside my bedroom. The hole is three feet to the right of the head of my bed. Thankyouverymuch, Mr. General Contractor Woodpecker, for marking MY territory as yours and providing low-cost housing for the neighborhood bird population.

If you’ve never had birds in your wall, you’re probably thinking, “Oh, how sweet, you have your very own birds.” Um, no. Believe me, it’s not sweet. Nor is it cute.

They’re loud. They thump around in there sounding like they each weigh 200 pounds, constantly pecking and scratching at the wall.  They chirp and coo and squawk. They’re rude, waking me up every morning in that dark gray time of not-quite-dawn, then carry on like that for hours.

They’re also pregnant. Or whatever. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they have eggs in there. Because that’s what birds do this time of year. So as much as I’d love to shoo them away and plug the hole, I have to wait until the baby birds hatch. And that is when things get really noisy. What a way to start the day. Seriously, after a half hour of listening to the increasingly frantic pitiful chorus of desperate baby bird hunger, you want to bang on the wall and scream at the mother, “What are you doing? FEED them already!”

Why yes, this has happened before. This is the third happy little bird family I’ve hosted over the years. Without invitation.

The cat is hoping they come through the wall into the bedroom. She spends a good bit of time sitting on the nightstand, head cocked at her most intense listening angle, staring at the wall. Waiting.

Here she is, glaring back at me, daring me to tell her to Get. Down. Off. The. Furniture.

And once they’re gone, it’s not easy (or cheap) to find someone who is willing and able to climb three stories off the ground to replace and paint siding boards. It’s a two-story house, but we’re on a hill and the basement is open to the outside at that end of the house, so it’s effectively three stories there. It requires a very long ladder and nerves of steel.

If I’m really lucky, these birds won’t have mites like the second bird family who took up residence did . . . and I won’t end up having to get my bedroom fumigated. Again.

Happy First Day of Spring, stupid damn birds.


Filed under miscellaneous bits

The trouble with "should"

I have a problem. Well, several actually, but let’s limit this to just one:  my personal To Do list has lost its sense of urgency. And I’m not getting anything done. Not only that, the list is expanding, growing to a size that is unwieldy and daunting.

It’s all because of “should.” As in, “I should write a new blog post.” Okay fine, you can see I finally managed to do that. But that item has been on my list for weeks. I’m a writer. It’s just not that tough to write a blog post. Except lately.

There are seemingly thousands of them, these “I should” tasks which lack immediacy or short-term consequences. No, you don’t want to know what they are. They’re boring and tedious. Except they really are things I SHOULD do. But they all have such an optional kind of feel to them, completely devoid of any sense of priority. An equal opportunity listing of “meh.” A far cry from, “I have to sort these papers right this minute, before they burst into flame!” Or, “If I don’t trim the bushes by Tuesday, the ground will crack open and spew molten lava.” Or, “If these pictures aren’t packed up in the next half hour, the bomb will explode and all the hostages will die!”

Not even the satisfying prospect of crossing things firmly off the list has been sufficient motivation — and usually that works, along with the certainty that no one else is going to do this stuff and I need to just suck it up and DO IT already. Really, I’d feel so much better if I did. But lately– [sigh] it seems I’m languishing in the land of lethargy, immobilized by inertia, sinking slowly into the depths of depression. Ahem. Sorry, just trying to manufacture a modicum of melodrama here.

I’m starting to suspect these tasks are quietly gathering strength and purpose, simmering in a dark stew of neglect, and will reach a critical mass of imperativeness ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

God help me.

I really should do something about this.



Filed under uncategorized