Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Meet the ChickFam

This is Violet, a Black Australorp. She's the biggest by far, and rules the roost (if you will). Concern is that Violet may not be quite as female as we would prefer-- in other words, she might be a rooster. Fingers crossed that she's not!

This is Stella (nee Shelley), Panda's chick. She is a Plymouth Barred Rock* (we think... or maybe an Americauna...), and will grow up to be speckled black and white (assuming she's the former). Shortly after this picture was taken, she burrowed into Pom Pom's hair, as if she was trying to get comfortable in a nest. It was very cute.

This is Sunny, J's little one and a Rhode Island Red. She is the. most. talkative. As soon as you pick her up (or touch her... or look at her...) she starts cheeping her little head off. This kid has Opinions!

Meet Noodles, a Buff Orpington and Pom Pom's baby. She seems to get her bird training out of a Disney movie, as she perches so very nicely on Pom Pom's hand. Maybe she'll upgrade to arm or shoulder as she gets bigger? We can only hope. She's a sweetie pie, and fell asleep in Pom Pom's lap the other day. I nearly died of the cute:

Finally-- best for last, of course!-- here's Poppy. She's my Americauna (or, you know, Plymouth Barred Rock, if Stella isn't...), and the very sweetest (not that I'm biased). She cuddles up close and is very soft. I exploit this willingness to hang out by taking pictures of her in cupcake wrappers:

My job has the WEIRDEST benefits, but I honestly couldn't ask for better!

*I shall shorten Plymouth Barred Rock to "PBR" (in honour of the hipster beer) or "Plymouth Bard" in honour of.. well, any bard from Plymouth, I guess. Please bear with me while I enjoy this.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Joy, Jubilation, etc.

You are about to laugh at me (no, not WITH me, AT me), and I'm ok with that. I'm content with my happiness, and while I hope you share it (because happiness is best shared), I can understand if you just feel puzzled by parts. It's ok, we can still be friends. (I wouldn't have any friends at all if this was not my approach to life.)

It all started on Thursday.

I was scheduled to take an 11pm flight from SEA-TAC airport, and would have (after a layover in Detroit) arrived in Baltimore at 9:07 on Friday morning. Sure, it would have been a hellish night, but what is an all-nighter compared to the joy of seeing one's friends THAT MUCH SOONER? Well, it was a great plan-- until I realised that said friends would all be working until at least 5pm on Friday evening.

Oh well, I understand the nature of Flight Plans and the Considerable Expense involved with changing them. Sure it would work better to fly out Friday morning and arrive that evening but... whatever. It would be fine.

I checked in online that afternoon, and ticked a box indicating that I would be willing to be "bumped" if sufficient financial compensation was involved. (Hahaha I just read that back over, and it seems to imply that I was agreeing to a Very Different Experience. Excellent.) I pretty much forgot about it, until I got to my gate. They were announcing that the flight was over-booked, and they needed volunteers to take a later (well, earlier) flight the following day. The agent and I investigated my options, and found that I could arrive at Reagan Airport (FAR more convenient than Baltimore) at 5:24pm on Friday (FAR more convenient than 9:07am). For my "trouble," I would be compensated with a $400 flight voucher.


I started keeping my fingers crossed that they would need my seat.

Another announcement was made. They were desperate for people to voluntarily take later flights, and had upped the ante to a $500 voucher. I started hovering by the desk, hoping that my presence in the agents' visual field would up my chances of being one of the Lucky Few to take advantage of this.

$600. Would people PLEASE take a later flight?

My breathing grew shallow, and my heart rate quickened.

The agent turned toward me with an apologetic look on her face. "I'm so sorry," she said. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to give up your seat."

I mentally broke into a happy dance. After a (short) night in a nearby hotel, I returned to the airport the following morning for an uneventful flight to Washington DC. Ginny and Pearl met me at the Metro station, and we went back to Ginny's flat for wine before heading out for dinner. It was nothing short of Sheer Delight to see them.

I spent Friday-Tuesday in DC, revelling in my friends' companionship and enjoying the sights and sounds (and free attractions!) of DC. We made sushi, visited monuments and the botanical gardens, went on meandering strolls, drank gin and tonics (and something with strawberry puree-- seriously, Ginny lives with a girl who is a Master of Drinks), and had an incredibly delightful time. Success ALL AROUND.

THE most delicious sushi-- tofu, egg, avocado, cucumber (and rice, sauces, and seaweed, of course). YUM.

I made Monica (another fabulous college friend-- so nicknamed because of our joyful expeditions to Santa Monica) pose with me outside of the White House, and pretend to be a tourist.

Ginny at the "cutest cafe in DC"-- but one with the SLOWEST service. We had plenty of time to take pictures!

Aaand somehow I came away from this experience with no pictures whatsoever of Pearl. How?! Well, here's one from freshman year, for memory's sake. Pearl is on the right... wearing pearls.

*****IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING STORY: Did you know that I nanny for one family in the afternoon (Clover and Neptune), and one in the morning (Panda and Pom Pom)? V is the mom and J is the dad. As a family, I will refer to them as the Mornings, and Clover and Neptune (and K and A) will be the Afternoons. Ok, are we on track? Excellent!*****

On Sunday, as I was traversing the Metro to get from Monica to Ginny, I received the following text from V:

We got you a chick today. It is an Americauna. She should lay colorful eggs in 5 months. I got a Black Australorp named Violet. What do you want to name yours?

So, guys, I'm not sure if you fully appreciate this about me, but I am SO PRO-ANIMAL. Seriously. So when I found out that I have my very own baby chicklet, my level of excitement could not be contained by the walls of the metro station. I did some elated hoping around and laughing, and I undoubtedly looked absolutely insane (at best) to those around me. Thankfully, the station was pretty empty...

I demanded a picture, of course, and promptly named my tiny chicken "Poppy." Chickens don't get any cuter.

So you see. I really did have the very best weekend ever. Flight voucher, splendid time with splendid friends, and a baby chicken. What more could anyone possibly want?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The future!

I know that many of you have experienced this before, but it is All New and Very Exciting to me! What am I talking about, exactly?
The Internet, friends.

Remember that time when the Internet was Amazing and Incredible, just on your (huge, bulky) desktop? Remember that? Remember when we didn't have GOOGLE? When YouTube hadn't even been imagined? Pre-Skype, Pre-Facebook.

Remember reading on planes? (I do-- that's what I was doing before this, but that is not the point.

For that matter, guys, remember when security was easy? We didn't think so at the time, but it was. We carried liquids through and wore our shoes like it was nothing.

Internet on the plane.

Who would have ever thought.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I think of cockroaches when I run.

No, not constantly. Just, you know... I think about them.

I read a study in a psych class once, explaining that cockroaches also seem to susceptible to a type of peer pressure. A cockroach, alone and unobserved by other roaches, will move at x speed. If he's running in the company of another cockroach, he'll run at ?x speed. Even if he's just observed by other roaches, that still increases his speed. I don't know what the deal is. Isn't that odd?

But that's what I think of when I run. Sometimes I feel like a cockroach.

I'll be running along, quite content with my current (slowish) speed, and then find myself powering through a few steps as I run by a running (or walking, or standing) person. It's not intentional, exactly, but it still happens.

I may have far more in common with cockroaches than I would care to admit.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Enunciation: It's important.

What I heard: "So, a gay bar..."
What he said: "So Gabe, our..."

Yes. I am.

Neptune: I thought you'd like butterflies. Because you're a butterfly person. Because you're nice.

Hello. I'm a Butterfly Person.