Diversionary Bird-Dom

This post is dedicated to my friend, Mimi. I’m sure she would have screamed louder than I did.

Our office building is nothing fancy. In fact, it’s made out of cinderblock, so it’s damned cold in the winter and sweltering hot in the summer. It has a flat roof, so every few years we have to retar the thing. My husband, the dear Mr. Demonic, is on an austerity kick due to two kids in private college and an economy that’s going south faster than a flock of geese, and we have foregone the usual maintenance, like roof, painting and new furniture.

As a result, the roof leaks and our drop ceiling tiles are all spotted and ugly. The paint is peeling on the outside of the building due to the massive icicle that formed on the side of the building. I took a picture of it, because it looked like it was edging toward the door and was going to devour us whole.

The other problem is the toilet. Oh, Lord. Not only is it old, but it doesn’t flush well. I’m thinking something is stuck in the escape pipe.

Our office bathroom fan is home to an army of sparrows. I don’t mind birds, in fact I have a cranky lovebird in my house. However, when they take up residence in the vent leading to the outside, that’s when I have to object.

Sparrows have to be one intelligence quotient above a chicken. They seem to prefer feathering their nests in vents rather than in bird houses. We had this problem in my house and I bought an assortment of bird dwellings to get them to lay off the vent. No luck. I solved the problem by shoving a bright yellow tennis ball in the vent, and voila! no more birds.

I can’t reach the vent at the office, it’s at second floor level. The birds come and go, and in the spring you can hear the baby birds cheeping away like they owned the place.

Last night, my Number 2 thought she heard a bird, but she claimed it was inside the building. Mr. Demonic pooh-poohed the idea, thinking how the hell would a bird get inside a building. (Let’s see… hole in roof? hole in vent?)

It turns out Number 2 was right. A sparrow decended out of our false ceiling and began to buzz her. Mr. D grabbed a box and cornered it in the copy room. He thought he had eliminated the bird problem, but noooo….

This morning I’m sitting at my desk minding my own business when a sparrow dive-bombs me, narrowly missing my head. He bounced off a window, and I screamed. (What? It could have been a bat.) The screaming caused him to fly to the other side of the office, where he flew into another window, obviously not hard enough, because he escaped. He flew back and forth for a time before hiding in a far corner.

The noise rousted Mr. D from his comfy office down the hall. He began to open all of the windows (there are eight big ones) to release our little avian visitor. It’s freaking 18 degrees outside, and a cinder block building doesn’t retain any heat whatsoever. We were reduced to Creamsicles in mere seconds. Mr. D took a huge piece of cardboard and shepherded the bird out of the window.

It’s now two hours later, and I’m just starting to warm up.

We should have left the bird inside. You know the thing is just going to find his way back in.

Does Getting Old Really Mean I’m Now Fat and Can Only Wear Ugly Clothes?

It’s going to be my birthday, soon. Really, really soon.

I was hoping to forget it altogether, but unfortunately one cannot get into February without passing up my birthday. After that, I tend to dismiss any notions of age and birthdays until just about twenty days before the next one. Then I freak out as per usual and fret and become horribly depressed. I look at my sagging stomach and my huge ass and my wrinkling skin and sometimes graying hair and shed tears for my misspent youth, thinking the entire time that I shouldn’t have dropped that acid and maybe should have finished college and definitely should have moved to California instead of going the other direction. After the whoo-ha, February arrives like a beacon of hope. I strive anew to make my life less misbegotten. My New Year’s resolution comes the day after my birthday.

Yesterday, as I was going through the mail, I noticed that I now am receiving catalogs for the ugliest clothes on the planet. Surely, fashion trends aren’t spiraling this far downward, are they? The clothes from here, and here, and even here are a testament to the kind of catalog I’m receiving. I still get Victoria’s Secret catalogs, but I notice that they are fewer and far between these days. (Just a note, while I am getting older, I still have boobs, and I still need shoes, and I might be encouraged to wear a miniskirt on occasion.)

These retailers offer clothes that even my mother wouldn’t wear, that is, if she were still alive. My mother could be a tad bit on the chunky side, but she liked a lot of sequins, plunging necklines and transparent blouses, as do sometimes I. There’s none of that in these retailers, my friend. It’s all elastic waistbands, tunic tents and nurses shoes in the most putrid colors of the rainbow. I take one quick look and immediately pitch these glossy advertisements right into the circular file. By the end of the week, they need a dolly to take out my trash. No wonder my mailman has left his post because of back problems!

Then I open up WordPress today and read MimiSuzy’s hysterical post about her struggle with weight loss and that one of her boobs is now lighter than the other. (If you are listening, God, that is the one area where I do NOT need to lose weight!) I laugh, and laugh some more, until I realize that I’m older than Mimi and probably in worse shape.

Now depression has truly reared its ugly head, bringing with it the ugly clothes and the ugly fat molecules that are fast protesting my diet and exercise plans. My dilemma is this: if I do indeed eventually lose the weight I’ve so inauspiciously gained in the last year, I will not be able to treat myself with a cute wardrobe once the extra pounds have adiosed. This, alone, is cause for great alarm and consternation. I mean, really. Where’s the pay-off?
Anyone have any happy pills they are willing to share?

The Best WordPress Post

No, it’s not one of mine. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not that full of myself.

No, I would have to say the Best WordPress Post Award should go to MimiSuzy’s Tour of Sam’s Club.

In fact, I’m thinking MimiSuzy should post this wonderful tribute on Associated Content and get some big bucks.

This is the kind of post that grabs your attention. There are plenty of photographs of a spotlessly clean and brilliantly lit store. There’s helpful text that accompanies each photograph.

Perhaps I am prejudiced, because my own local Sam’s Club is my absolute favorite spot for brick and mortar shopping. For every place else, I turn on my computer.

Where else can you get a smorgasbord of tasty delights – for free? Of course, you have to time your visit so that you can maximize all of the samples on the big sample days, like Saturday and Sunday. It can be done. I’ve seen entire families take advantage of the wonders of frozen food.

Where else can you buy books for $3.81? A $3.81 book is a bargain! Who cares if it’s a tawdry romance novel? These are the types of books one needs on long trans-continental flights.

Where else can you get a huge whole rotisserie chicken for less than $5? They are not only a thrifty purchase, good for you but also delightfully yummy.

Where else can you buy a cashmere sweater for $19? I wore mine until they were threadbare. Or how about a broomstick skirt for $5? Again, I wore mine for years, until they went out of style.

The secret to Sam’s Club is in the pricing. Anything ending in “.81” is a clearance item. Things can be regularly priced one day, and on sale the next. Clearance items can pop up like mushrooms after a hard rain. One day last month, I happened to stop by for a coffee maker to replace one my husband destroyed, and found they were selling jumbo jars of cocktail sauce for .52 cents. We use a lot of cocktail sauce, and even if we didn’t, fifty-two cents is less than a cup of coffee.

Sam’s Club. It’s a glittery palace of consumption. Check it out!