Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Operation Baby Bunny

After a day spent recovering from a spectacular case of food poisoning the night before, I went out for a couple of hours to try and perk up - an entire day in bed makes me feel even worse when I've been sick. So when I come home, I'm stopped in my tracks by the sight of a ball of fur stuffed in the corner where the doorframe and wall meet. Mouse? Baby Rabbit? Not sure which, nor whether or not it was even alive.

I went inside, got a yardstick, and went back out prepared to try and wedge it out. It was soft and yet would not budge; I managed to see a little ear - it was a bunny. Went back inside, got a pair of old garden gloves on, prayed for strength, and went out to try and pull him out. I assumed he'd just gotten stuck while playing... rabbits are often grazing in the yard behind my apartment when I come home at night. This year, they've been joined by a beaver.

So I went and tried to scoop him out, which he resisted and started crying. But he did shift somewhat so his head was now visible. His little eye closed and he took a mini-nap. I took a breather, and looked back out towards the yard, and there was mother rabbit in rather close proximity (they usually run off when I get too close). So I darted inside, hoping that mommy would go fetch baby and take him to safety.

I went back outside in a few minutes, and mommy was nibbling grass down the hill! Appalling maternal instincts. (But, I did read somewhere that rabbits let their young go off on their own and don't keep them in the nest once they're mobile.)

So I decided that I knew what was best for this bunny (soon to be proved wrong), and managed to catch a leg and pull him out, squealing pitifully and squirming like crazy. I managed to get him out to the yard and put him down (mommy had gone to hide in the woods) and the baby looked like he was going to make a run back towards his hidey-hole, but I shooed him down the hill and he made it into the thicket at the bottom... at which point a big-ass bird of prey (I suspect raven; very smooth and black) swooped to a tree overhead. I started clapping and yelling and he flew back off.

But that finally explained why the bunny was hiding under my apartment; he'd run to cover to escape becoming dinner! I looked back down the hill, and noticed a loose wad of fluff and dead grass; when I went closer, I could see that it was rabbit fur. The burrow had obviously been in the incline of the hill, and I found it a yard away, in a drainage pipe.

So much conjecture... had the rabbits simply grown up and scampered out and taken their nest with them? Or that that damn bird been pulling out the nest to find some tender baby rabbits? I didn't see any others. I can only hope that baby and mommy found each other in the thicket.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bears in our Midst

I wanted to post something about bears on the ColbertNation forum, and came across this absolutely hysterical post:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

News You Need to Know

OK, my little pharmacy saga...

I've been shopping at CVS for prescriptions for a couple of years now, because 1) they have one reasonably close that is NEVER crowded, and 2) they have a preferred members card thingy that gets me some super coupons every time I shop.

Despite these benefits, when I saw that a new Walgreens was being built 1 block from my complex, I could not WAIT til it was open; it would save lots of time. Well it opened a few weeks ago, and I went in to scope it out. I discovered that they didn't have one of those card dealies, but I thought, "oh well, it's still convenient..."

Yesterday I FINALLY took steps to switch a prescription over to the Walgreens, and went back later in the afternoon to pick it up. Imagine my dismay when they told me the generic that I was used to paying $15+ for at CVS would cost me over $29! I was livid. I didn't buy it, walked out, and called CVS to switch it back.

That evening when I went to pick it up, I talked with the pharmacist about how Walgreens' price was almost double, and he said he'd recently read a Consumer Reports article which had pretty much come to the same conclusion. And then he handed me my receipt with a $1 coupon off feminine products.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Quote

A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Staying and Leaving

I have noticed as the years pass by and I have remained in my hometown, that eventually, everyone leaves. We've become such a mobile society that for people to grow up and actually stay in the city of their birth is unusual. Especially here - I am constantly saying (in an effort to appear witty and well-informed) that in any public gathering in Nashville, you will be unlikely to find more than 5 natives. "Try it!" I suggest. Fortunately they are more than willing to take my word because who's gonna canvass an entire cocktail party or art show to find out where everyone is from?!

As a Perpetual Homebody, I am therefore required to suffer the constant disappointment of Those Who Leave. On the average of 2-4 a year, good friends will move on to different pastures. Paul, Teresa, Mike, Sarah, Renu, Shellee, Kara, Chandelle, Robyn, Brian, Heather, DJ, Frances, Matt, Joe, Ken. Tons more I've now forgotten. All of these people I considered to be close friends, and they left. A FEW have come back, but it's rarely as it was before.

It's been interesting to see how the Stayers and the Leavers deal with the break. Some are able to sustain a lasting friendship long-distance because both parties are determined to stay in contact, to write, to call, to work on projects together. But if even one of the parties has decided to move on, or repair the gap in their wall of friends, then all the efforts of the other person are to no avail. The neglect is never really meant in malice or disinterest, but it's so very, very hard to sustain a friendship long distance!

I used to try to stay in touch; back in the beginning, I would cling to addresses and phone numbers and send Christmas cards & letters. But as the years went by and people continued to leave, I grew resigned. Initially I might be hurt at their neglect or lack of response. But I eventually grew tired of trying to maintain one-sided relationships, and now I let go almost before they leave town!

There are exceptions. But I finally invented my own little zen saying: "If they're gonna leave, then they're gonna leave." Mind-blowing insight, no? I do my best to be the best possible friend up til the moment they leave - I do good-bye tokens, cards, parties, help pack, or at the least get their new address. And then they go, and depending on whether or not they contact me first, I usually let it drop. Barring the yearly Christmas Card.

I realized recently that this has been the story of my life. In kindergarten I had Missy as a best friend. We were inseperable, and at the end of the school year her family moved away. First grade was Betsy, and at the end of the school year her family moved away too. After that I had no best friends, and I don't even to this day. I've tried to "invent" them upon occasion, but inevitably I've realized that I was far more invested in the friendship than they were, or would ever be, and that you simply cannot make someone be best friends.

At this point one might think that I might look to my Mom and sisters as friends, but unfortunately that hasn't materialized. We talk comfortably together and we enjoy visiting each other... but it doesn't go much beyond that. They all left town too. Amy came back, but she's a mom and therefore in the class of The Busiest People on Earth. Mom came back, and has always had her own full life, so beyond phone calls, occasional lunches, computer tutorials from me, etc., we don't harass each other :) It's actually a very healthy arrangement!

I'm a Stayer. What are you?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Coolest Thing Ever

Or at least, the coolest thing this week...

I have just been led to
BookMooch, which for a bibliophile is an absolute GODSEND. I have dozens of books on my shelves that have either been listed on for years, or I have never read/will never read again. But on BookMooch, I can get rid of them, and earn points to get copies of books I do want!

For example, one of the most important books of my childhood was Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow - out of print, expensive even when available. It's a historical novel set in Charleston during the Revolutionary War, and I practically memorized portions of it. I have just obtained a copy through BookMooch from Canada. I'm able to track down favorite novels I've been meaning to pick up for years for my library, but never wanted to spend the money to actually purchase them.

You earn 1/10th of a point for each book you list in your give-away inventory, and a full point for each book that is requested from you and that you send out. I'm about to send out my 6th book, have listed almost 100 books in my inventory of give-aways, and have a long wishlist of books that I could go ahead and get now, or I'm waiting for someone else to offer - like, Darlene O'Steen's The Proper Stitch, which is wildly expensive but very, very desireable for stitchers such as myself.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Expanding Boundaries

I was asked to sing backup for a cover band called "Steamboat" in the next 2 weeks - just 5 songs, nothing very complicated. But I've only ever sung backup (or sung with a band, for that matter) 2 or 3 times in my life, but this is literally the easiest gig I could ever have - 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, as opposed to the usual hole-in-the-wall venue, on a weeknight at 9:30 pm-but-it-really-starts-at-10:45-because-everyone's-running-behind gig I am often invited to. I rarely go, as I am Exceedingly Lazy and also don't enjoy concerts unless I'm getting to sing. I get bored just sitting (or standing, which is worse) and listening to music. If they would let me sit and do cross-stitch during a concert, I'd be more willing to attend. Although the light is practically non-existent, so it's not really good for fine embroidery.

We're singing Proud Mary, Think (Aretha), Oh! Darling (Paul McCartney, I think), Chain of Fools... and they just added a Pink Floyd song. Me. Singing Pink Floyd. I don't even know any of their songs. Never heard The Wall. Don't really care to.

But this is a great expansion of my boundaries - I am singing backup in a rock band, and one of the songs is from Pink Floyd. Imagine!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


OK, I came across a website debating (rather feebly) the possibility of Eric Volz's guilt in the murder of Doris Ivania in Nicaragua. I realized that we've been trying to prove his innocence the wrong way; rather, we should try and do a "What If", looking through the massive amount of exculpatory evidence as though he was guilty:

Eric would have needed to make a great deal of preparation to cover his tracks in this murder:

1) He would have needed to persuade 10 people to say that they had seen him during the time of the murder in Managua, and sign affidavits to that effect. Think about it - TEN people: Nicaraguan employees, a woman from a non-profit organization, a hair stylist, a respected Nicaraguan journalist, etc. Do you think YOU could get 10 un-related people to agree to provide a false alibi for you?

2) He would have needed someone to make numerous phone calls from his office to business associates throughout the day so that he would have a phone record proving he was in Managua, and they would have to be written to reflect a legitimate, business dialogue.

3) He would have had to have someone have an IM chat with his associate in Atlanta, time-stamped for the hours he claims he was in Managua.

That's a LOT of preparation and bribery/persuasion to cover up a so-called "jealous" murder. I mean, honestly, if he was the jealous type, do you think he would have amicably parted with her and moved over 2 hours away to the capital city for business?

It's just too improbable.

One forum writer's assertion that "I have no idea of his Internet habits but I find it hard to believe he spent all that time chatting with one person for four plus hours non-stop. It seems to be awfully convenient to be chatting online for many hours on end at the time of the murder." That's a matter of opinion; I have worked with agents who will have long, complex ongoing IM chats with their assistants for an entire workday while they are on the phone with buyers.

Have you ever carried a heavy wooden box for several minutes on your shoulder? Are you an expert in that sort of forensic evidence? It has been proven by photographs from the funeral that the marks are on the very shoulder with which he carried the coffin. They were the only wounds on his body, whereas one of the other accused had multiple scratches on his torso and penis.

Please fully investigate the facts, see the evidence, before deciding whether or not you think he is guilty - the sheer mass of exculpatory evidence must make his conviction HIGHLY suspect, at the very least!