Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Carefule Use of Cliches

They say that one bird in the hand is worth two in the nest.

But, how does one really know that? Put a bird in the hand and prove it to them and have two in the nest and come to your own conclusion!

Well, I never really knew about birds in hands. In fact my only experience regarding birds in my hands goes waaay back to my childhood, when my aunt had a parakeet who I would try to get to sit on my finger. But the poultry never seemed to want to get off his swing to come sit on my enticing index finger. I was so repulsive to him that he would rather stay in a cage, instead of coming out into the open on the comfort of my finger. Either that or I was some giant piece of uncoolness to be ignored and scoffed at.

However, finally, after years and years of waiting to have a bird in my hand, I had my chance. It was in a park in Buenos Aires and there were people feeding the birds. And by feeding the birds, I mean right out of their hands. So I sheepishly asked if I could have some of their unpopped popcorn to feed the birds with. They magnanimously handed over their bag. After all, the purpose of locals is to give tourists new experiences with birds, right?

Well, the pigeons arrived. I became so alarmed at the presence of five pigeons on my arms that I threw the bird seed on the ground and shrieked in terror. I even danced a jig in the name of "fru-eek-ing ooout!

At this point, I felt quite silly. After all, I had asked some strangers for their birdseed and I wasn't even using it. Instead, I threw it on the ground like a three year old who is expert in the art of tantrum throwing. So, I knew I needed to put on my big girl panties and just do it. At least for the sake of my tarnished image. So, I took a deep breath and picked up the bag of seeds. The birds followed me in a swarm. This was odd for me because I am used to being a revolting mammal in the minds of birds.

I tartly sat down on the park bench and prepared myself for the impending coniption, but I just had to do it. I opened up the bag of seed and waited for the birds to come back. And come back they did. I had a bird on my head, making a nest in my mass of blonde hair. I had pigeons on my shoulders and birds flying all around me. Not to mentioned the six of seven birds on my arms all trying to get at the birdseed. I hyperventilated and enjoyed the frightening pleasantry--the little talons on my arms, the flapping wings, the beaks pecking at my palm and the sheer amount of pigeons around me.

So, back to the cliche of one bird in the hand being worth two in the nest. Well, after my experimentation, I've realized that it all depends on your perspective. If your head happens to be their nest, then the cliche is rather defunct. What about having fifteen birds on your torso and one hundred around you at your feet? Did the cliche writers ever think of THAT? Didn't think so!

Next time you plan on using that cliche, please consider your audience, you might need to say instead: "fifteen birds on your torso is worth one hundred surrounding your feet." Because their nest may be your head and you might have more than just one measly bird in the hand.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A World Affair with Soccer

My claim to fame (if you can even call it that) was that by a minute chance, I just happened to be Germany in 2006, during the world cup. No, I did not plan to attend the world cup, it was merely a coincidence that I happened to be there to enjoy the festivities. And now I like to start sentences with "When I was at the World Cup..."

Anyways, it has been four years now and it's that time of year again: the world cup. And, I am not watching the festivities. In fact, I have no idea who is playing and the appalling truth is that I don't even care. The other day, at work, I watched America versus England only because I happened to be near a TV all day; it was by pure default that I got in on the festivities. And, it was a total waste of effort because the game was a tie. How anticlimactic! (However, I think it was rigged because America and England need to maintain our political ties and thus for one of us to win would simply show a lack of sportsmanship, don't you agree? Might wreck some treaty or something.)

However, erm erm..."when I was at the world cup..." I was watching America play Ghana (on TV) and I experienced what it means to be a fan and to care about the outcome of the game. Never in my life have I cared who wins whatever game. But, there I was watching the the US play Ghana and every time the US almost scored, I felt my heart leap into my throat and a sense of "Come on! You can do it" enveloped me. I was glued to that TV; I was a fan. I really wanted my team to win, but of course they lost because Americans don't care much about soccer-er-football. And, I have never NEVER been a fan of a sports team (unless you count the mens Romanian gymnastic team [big grin on face]).

Anyways, now when I hear people going on about their favorite team and "oh dija see that score when blah blah?" I understand their excitement. I have a vague sense of what it is like to be a fan and to have loyalty to a team. Because, it even happened to the likes of me once upon a time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Trite Topic

We in the Northwest are made of some of the toughest material know to man. We withstand brazen weather such as mild winters and cold summers. But please, let me get on my soap box to yammer about the weather.

It was summer, or so I thought... But back in April I was nefariously deceived. I sat on the patio in anticipation of warm days and I imagined my (highly-paid) servants feeding me grapes. But, my daydreaming experienced an unforeseen interruption when the cold weather reappeared after a frighteningly short disappearance.

It is now June and rumor has it, we have still not hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a record.

Now, I really try not to go about making blog posts about the weather. I mean how trivial. But, as banal as it may seem, it truly is of utmost importance. After all, studies show that about 99% of norhtwesterners are dangerously low in vitamin D. This weather is really an urgent matter of public health.

But, I can no longer help myself. The red flag that told me I must vocalize my woe was when I got out my warmest winter sweaters and wool socks. It was then that I knew, someone has to talk about this (because no one is...).

Anyways, we can do nothing about the weather except to adapt and cope with our untamable feelings.

But, for all of you out there who find yourselves disconsolate and painfully forlorn in regards to the weather, let this be a reminder to look on the bright side of things. It can't get any worse, can it?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The End of a Sigh

The world moves in a cyclical motion. And this week, that has been the case. it became the end of the academic year at the fine and esteemed institution I attend. (?)

In September, it was the beginning of a fresh new school year. Bright-eyed student walked around with their new messenger bags, trendy glasses and expensive text books on a sunny September day. They discussed their classes with one another and anticipated the future challenges. There were lines at the bookstores, lines at the financial aid office and just overall chaos.

Well, that sense of excitement has evaporated and all that remaines is the residue of once excited students. Now, they're all wilted and overworked. And the photo of this blog post commemorates a moment in the library when I decided to whip out my digital camera and snap a photo of the recycle bin, in an attempt to be cool and artsy.

Yes, it is the week of finals. This means late night studying, a lack of parties, a life devoid of soirees momentarily, and no intellectual late night conversations in coffee houses. Nope, it's time to buckle down and study.

The library is overcrowded with zombie-eyed silent students and their books. The garbage bin is stuffed with paper coffee cups and fast food paraphanelia.

Like so many things in life, something has ended, not with a bang, but with a long drawn out sigh of relief.

Fare thee well academic year 2009/2010!