Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stir crazy (Thursdays are for thinking)

Is this dreary weather giving me an excuse to hibernate, eat ice cream and watch tv? Or am I using it as one? Are you? Is it spring yet?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Musical Monday #12: PJ Harvey

I've been a PJ Harvey fan for a while. Uh Huh Her was one of the last actual CDs I bought back in 2004. I never really got into White Chalk, but her new album Let England Shake (aside from being generally quite good) includes one particular number that somehow made its way into my brain. "Last Living Rose" has this element of resigned European dignity mixed with the dark, self-deprecating humor I usually expect only from Germans. I guess it comes from the ability to romanticize shabbiness by idealizing former prowess and glory. Or taking ownership of both the delightful and the disgusting in one succinct anthem. The satisfaction comes in belonging to both. Anyway, I thought I'd pass it on. (The actual videos I found were kind of off the mark in terms of how I envision this song. It seems far more ironic and melancholy. Just listen.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sometimes, we all need each other a little bit. (Thursdays are for thinking)

Sunday was a big day for Clyde Drexler. And for several humans involved in her life. Yes. I can say "life," because she's still alive. Sitting right next to me, attempting (unsuccessfully) to groom herself through a plastic collar. I can't believe it. Or that today I would be so overwhelmingly grateful for such a simple thing as sitting next to a bunny.

On Saturday afternoon, I wrote a message to my roommates on the chalkboard about feeding Clyde in the morning and hopped in the car to the mountain with Seth and Ashley to celebrate the second day of Rachel's extended birthday. It was a blast. Deep, heated pool, amazing view, delicious home cooked meals and a delirious dance party. I got back earlier then I thought I would. Waltzing in, I did what I always do first. I looked for Clyde.

Clyde Drexler is a free-roaming bunny. She didn't start out that way in our house, but now she's totally litter trained and we can trust her not to cause any trouble for the most part. She mostly just explores, chills out in her favorite spots and munches on hay. The ground floor is pretty much...hers. There wasn't really anything dangerous we knew about besides a few house plants. We moved those mostly out of her reach.

Upon entry, the smell of burning...something wafted into my nostrils. I checked the stove. Someone had made popcorn, but that wasn't quite it. Roommate Alex appeared and mentioned that the stink had just started about half an hour, 45 minutes ago. Maybe a squirrel had electrocuted itself in our wall? My chest clenched up, but my brain wasn't there yet. I opened a window because of the smell and turned off the heat out of habit.

I checked all of Clyde's normal spots. I did the things that usually bring her sprinting into the kitchen (make a pellet falling in glass bowl noise, open the fridge and pull out the veggie drawer etc.). Nothing. I looked again, shining a flashlight into more difficult to reach places she might have discovered. No bunny. I settled for what I usually do in the afternoon. Started watching a tv show with the door cracked. She will usually appear and fluff up next to me on the floor. Again, nothing. I couldn't concentrate. Something was wrong.

Vince and Kristin, my other roommates, weren't home. I texted them to see if anyone could ease my slight worry about the smell and missing bunny. Vincent called back, which worried me more because he was worried. As soon as he got home, he started poking around and I walked around the block in desperation, hoping to find her hopping about in a neighbor's yard. When I returned, all the color had drained from Vince's face and the baseboard on one of the kitchen cabinets was askew. "I have a sickening feeling I know what happened." He said. I had a sickening feeling that whatever he was about to say was right.

Apparently there is an opening to a heating duct under our kitchen cabinets that is not fully covered, and it leads directly into the FURNACE. Yes. Vincent postulated that our darling little bunny had crawled beneath the cabinets, gone a little too far and slipped in. This would explain both the smell and Clyde's troubling absence. I prepared myself to find a mangled, bloody, burnt bunny carcass as I followed him into the basement.

It took a little while to get the side panel off the furnace. Vincent had to pull the tape off, unscrew a bunch of little bolts and slide a piece of sheet metal aside. I wondered aloud while he was tugging and turning, if this was my punishment for caring too much. Some sort of twisted karma for disturbing the force somehow. Had I loved that little four pound furball way more than I should? When he finally managed, he was brave enough to stick his head into the opening above the heating element. She was in there. And she was alive.

When I stuck my shoulders into the furnace housing, I expected to see something terrible. And it was, just not the bloodbath I was imagining. Clyde had somehow wedged herself perfectly into a 3 inch metal trough next to the metal coil heating element, feet down, facing forward. I carefully tugged, squished and finally slid her out of there while she woofed and grunted. Holding her up in the light I saw that she had several burnt fur areas, totally singed whiskers and red irritated eyes but was otherwise okay. I burst into tears.

Blubbering all the while, I carried her upstairs and did a once over again. Vincent called the animal hospital. I plopped her into her cage and the first thing she did was devour all the food in sight and pee. She was fine. A little crispy, but so totally alive. She started grooming herself fervently; bits of blackened fur scattering onto the floor like flakes of my formerly compact concern dissipating into obscurity.

Thinking back on the event, it blows me away how all the little things started to add up. How if just one tiny step hadn't been the way it was, Clyde could have been toast. If I hadn't ridden home earlier. If Alex hadn't noticed the burnt hair smell seemed to be coming from the heater. If I hadn't turned the furnace off because of the open window. If Vincent hadn't realized the heating duct was under there. If if if.

It's all I've been able to think about for the past 72 hours. How much I adore that damn bunny. And how important it is to stay in touch and work together. To investigate when something feels wrong. We all need help sometimes. It's...kind of mind blowing to contemplate the occasions when it actually arrives.

Again! Again! (Mighty Market strikes...)




Four! Oh, haaay! See you all at my place this Saturday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Control (Thursdays are for thinking)

We...had known there was a rat in the basement for quite a while now. I saw it once before departing for Amsterdam. Josh had seen it, and for some reason mentioned this to me one day after I moved back but wasn't living in this house. Vincent had written something about it on the chalkboard. It tried to eat boy Alex's peanut butter right out of the container, but failed. I don't know what Kristin's relationship with the rat was. It was just...there. We knew we had to kill it. It was messing with our seed starts for the garden and we'd already been somewhat thwarted by a baby squirrel last year. Yesterday, I finally took action.

Okay, sure. This is kind of disgusting. But, I've killed a rat before. One of these critters was my nemesis in Berlin. I knew where it was coming through the floor, I set the trap, I killed it. I apologized to the rat. I undid the trap after its neck had been broken and its paws frozen stiff and draped its dangly body into a shoebox. Then I put it outside in the dumpster and washed my hands. That was it. Maybe I'll bury this one in the backyard instead?

It just got me thinking a bit. I was really worried about our darling house bunny Clyde getting stuck in the trap somehow, even though she's never gone downstairs before. Looking at her fat, furry little face today I wondered. Why is she allowed? Why do we feed her, clean her cage, stroke her floppy ears, worry about her and look forward to hearing her clickity clack on the floor when we get home? Or maybe only I do? Undeniably, I love that thing. I think everyone enjoys having it around to a certain degree. But...that's not the point. There are plenty of humans who love their pets. It's just...the rat has to die because noone chose it? Because it invited itself and started causing trouble? And will inevitably invite more rats and/or reproduce its own? Just like Garrett the squirrel though, somehow a rat in the house makes absolutely no sense. It has to go. Not just be swept outside into its natural habitat, but KILLED. Because its natural habitat is a human household and its natural tendency is pillaging human food sources. Something about human instinct or whatever. It just seems so strange. That some small critters we devote ourselves to loving and protecting, whereas others we tempt with peanut butter and then break their necks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Four eyes

So my roommate Kristin works for a tile company, the owner of which also has an eyewear company, Amy Sacks. Of course, right? Kristin, however, was apparently given the task of photographing a bunch of glasses though and had the genius idea of inviting friends and acquaintances and pets to model in exchange for some frames (and snacks...) This building in SW also houses the tile company below and the eyewear/makeup ladies were given access to the second floor for the photos! Hannah and I got on board (hope I got you some good ones Colleen!) with plenty of time to get our ping pong on.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This be custom sheeyat, yo.

When you hear me say "I'm working on a custom order right now," this is what I mean. This is where it starts. Number crunching and line drawing...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let's start with what's not going so well...

Today started out terrible and sloppy. I mean, feeling UPSET before anything had even happened. From there, it was just sloshing around until Blazer time. I was feeling various shades of down for all sorts of reasons and hit a low after coming home from the game. Then I remembered what my mom does with kids who are having a bad day and are sent to the principal's office. She makes a T-chart with them to show them EVERYTHING doesn't suck. Just some things. And there are upsides, so I made one. AND IT WORKS! HAHAHAHAHA!
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