Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back in the Field (Sort Of)

Given how miserably cold it has been, I haven't been doing much birding over the past two months. Since it was a balmy 38 degrees today, and I was near the Long Slip Pedestrian Bridge, anyway (a long walkway that goes along the water and takes you from Hoboken to Jersey City), I decided to go and see what was going on with the birds.

This area has tons of seagulls. There are usually also some cormorants further out, plus some ducks, and the occasional geese or other birds (I even saw two least sandpipers there over the summer).

Today, the gulls were present, as always, and very sassy. One picked up a big chunk of ice, flew away with it, then came back, landed next to me, dropped the ice, and started screaming at me until I left. So I went on a little further to my usual duck-spotting site to check the duck levels.

I was not disappointed! In addition to five Canada Geese gliding by, and the usual cast of gulls, there were two mallards, sleeping on a bit of wood. Two gadwalls also glided by (these seem to be the most common duck around when it's warm; I've seen over a dozen in this spot at once during the summer/fall), and, for the first time, three ruddy ducks, who looked to be asleep and just letting the current carry them around. Ruddy ducks are apparently cold weather visitors to the area. I saw a group of them at Liberty State Park in November in the harbor, but I didn't know they visited this part of Hoboken, so I was pretty excited. Because I am a big nerd.

The experience was capped off when I was walking back home and passed the spot of my seagull confrontation. A couple was walking by and sent down on a bench facing the water. A big group of seagulls came up and landed on the rails, facing them, all at once. One of the seagulls began to scream. The woman freaked out and got up to leave. The man went with her, but he was laughing.

If we get another bearable weekend like this one, I'll have to go back to Liberty, in search of hawks. My husband-to-be saw one over our street about a month ago as he was leaving for work, but not all of us are so fortunate!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Hope I Don't Grow a Hump

Sometimes I wonder if I am going to develop a hump. For as long as I can remember, my back has seemed to reflect every moment of stress I have ever experienced in my life. There are my shoulders that my ballet teacher used to bark at me to relax. There are the little aches running along each side of my spine that come out when fidgeted. There are the weird, crunchy little knots behind my shoulder blades that I only discovered a few months ago during a chair massage.

But there is also a particular spot, midway between the bottom of my left shoulder blade and my spine, that is always ominously tense. When probed, it feels somewhat fibrous. Pressing it yields the painful pleasant feeling you would expect from a stress knot, but it also seems to quiver, like it has been sitting there, tense, for years and years and will not be dislodged.

I wonder if it will just get more and more tense with every work emergency, apartment search, cat surgery, and family crisis, until the mucles are so bunched in on themselves that I will no longer be able to straighten my back. And it is under these circumstances that I wonder if I will wind up a hunchback.

It was sort of an idle thought before, but now that I am about to have a husband, and may one day have kids, I hope it doesn't happen. Who wants to be married to a hunchback? Especially a female one? And I bet the kids would get all kinds of teased for having a hunchbacked mom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today, I called to make an appointment to look at dresses.  The woman on the other end asked if I was the bride.  I had to answer, "Yes."

It was so very, very weird.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A while back, my significant other pointed out that I had not updated this blog in forever.  I said that I couldn't think of anything to write about.  He said, "You just moved in with a dude!"  He was right!  And now, nearly a year later, I still haven't updated, until now.

Anyway, I went to Kyoto and, under the cherry tree in the Imperial Gardens shown to the left, got engaged.  Or, as one commenter on my now-fiance's Facebook page put it when he updated his relationship status, "ENGAYDGED."

It is weird, because I had never really considered myself a marriage person, and if I had considered myself a marriage person, I had not considered myself an engagement person, but here I am.

We are still nailing down a few small details, like when it will happen and whether or not to serve our guests a Qdoba buffet at the reception(s).

In all seriousness, I have no idea how to put a wedding into effect.  Not even a low-key, non-princessy affair like the one I think we're trying to pull off.  I picked up a bridal magazine at the corner store a couple of days ago and started looking through it, then put it back on the shelf a few seconds later in horror.  The dresses were all so very, very white.  I don't think I am that publication's target audience.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Home Surgery

Yeah, they look really cute, but I think the one on the left tried to kill me. She likes to claw at my cheap Ikea kitchen table, spewing splinters about the apartment. Tonight, as I walked through the kitchen, one such splinter drove through my sock and embedded itself in the bottom of my foot.

It was huge! After a fair amount of sniveling, digging around with a needle, and internal speculation about what would happen if I showed up at the emergency room with a foot splinter, I removed it. But not before some panic. One internet site told me to soak my foot in water to soften the skin and aid removal. Another warned against soaking a wooden splinter for too long, because it can expand. Adding to my frustration, it took me forever just to get this photo that doesn't even come close to showing the horror show that was my foot after I washed it, post-removal:

On the plus side, my soles are looking pretty smooth today. Thanks, overly pushy nail salon owner!

Anyway, here it is. The splinter that almost took me down, along with the tools I used to remove it, and a dime for scale:

I'm pretty sure I am now qualified as a surgeon in certain states.