Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yikes, I've Been Tagged! Plus An Update On The Mockingbird Family....


Yes, the male parent of the baby mockingbirds still attacks me for coming near the nest. He attacks me every time I come onto the balcony, even if I'm not near the nest and am simply out on the balcony innocently watering the other flower pots. Here's a shot of him swooping in to try an attack on me.


Anyhoo, RN Someday has tagged me for a meme !

You know, I've never been included in a meme before so it's a new experience.

The rules of the meme are as follows:

You simply list eight random facts/habits about yourself. And feel free to write a little bit about those things if you'd like. (I absolutely LOVE to read this stuff because I think it causes people to be a little less inhibited, encouraging them to divulge fun and fascinating things about themselves!)

(And don't forget to post these rules. And then at the end of your posting, tag a bunch of people and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they're tagged).

Hmmm.....eight "random facts".....

That's a tough one since I am pretty up front about my personality traits. (And the first one that I'd tell you is ruined because you guys already know that I talk and sing to animals....)

And while I'm writing, I'll slip in some pictures of the baby mockingbirds' progress. I am absolutely having one of the most thrilling times of my life watching the growth of these dear babies.

Okay, here goes with the meme:

1. I am extremely obsessive-compulsive in my habits. I even organize my refrigerator. During one of my marriages, I once actually used a label-maker to put LABELS on my pantry shelves saying things like "Canned Vegetables" or "Spices" ----LIKE YOU COULDN'T TELL WHAT THOSE ITEMS WERE WITHOUT THE DANG LABELS!!!

Every one of my ex-husbands learned to amuse themselves by deliberately "messing things up" that I had arranged "just right", simply to enjoy watching me run around frantically straightening those items back up.

Once, I lived with a doctor who was irritated by this facet of my personality. His revenge was that he would always move this one doily that I had carefully and deliberately placed "a certain way" on a hall shelf. I had it placed triangularly, "point hanging down" over the shelf edge. And every single day, he'd secretly turn it, changing it to a rectangular position without the point hanging down. In fact, he and I spent TWO DANG YEARS moving that stupid doily back and forth. (I think that's why I left him---over that stupid doily.....)

(And for that matter, what kind of doctor would do that to his lady? I mean, really---he was the CHIEF OF STAFF at the hospital, for God's sakes, and was supposedly a "respectable", "professional" doctor---but here he was at his own home moving this stupid doily around just to irk me, which it did no end.)

(Doctors can be strange creatures sometimes...)

2. I talk to myself in Walmart. In fact, I talk to myself everywhere. I've done it since I was a child. People will always tell me that old cliche: "Well, just as long as you don't answer yourself..." Answer myself? Hell, I ARGUE WITH MYSELF.

And for that matter, I'm so crazy that even my Post-It's argue with themselves. I will write a Post-It to myself telling myself to do such-and-such. And then, on second thought, I'll write another Post-It that says something to the effect of: "If such and such doesn't work, then do such and such instead." And not only that---but I'll even write DUPLICATE Post-It's of this stuff and put them in alternate locations in order to ensure that that I see them no matter where I am.....

3. The most embarassing moment of my life (which, since I was too young to realize, was really my mother's most embarassing moment of her life) was when my mother allowed me to play Scrabble with her and a very sophisticated, elegant, and very delicate spinster lady named Miss Carnette when I was 6 years old. I had learned to read at age 4 and was a worthy Scrabble opponent at a young age.

However, during Scrabble games at that young age, my vocabulary repertoire sometimes failed me. But....I did know enough to understand that if I arranged consonents and vowels into certain formations, that I could perhaps accidentally form a "real" word. And so, during the Scrabble game, whenever I had difficulty coming up with a "real" word with my available letters--- I would start fiddling around with the vowels and consonents, putting them into various combos, figuring that if I moved them into the right formation that I just might get lucky. But most of the time when I did that I was unsuccessful, spelling out some ridiculous group of letters like "thark" or something----resulting in everybody laughing at me.

Anyway, at this Scrabble game, whereupon my mother had served quite a fancy tea service to this very elegant and ultra-ladylike Miss Carnette, it came to be my "turn". And again, I was having trouble figuring out what to do with the letters I had. So I performed my usual above-mentioned fiddling around with vowels and consonents...

...and then asked the ladies quite seriously: "Do the letters 'T'-'U'-'R'-'D' spell anything?"

(Poor Miss Carnette turned a deathly shade of pale and almost choked on her tea....) (My mother gave me dagger looks and told me quite stonily that NO, THOSE particular letters DID NOT form a "real" word....) (It was years before I found out that she had lied, thus denying me my points in that game.)

4. Would you believe it but I actually did the same dang thing a second time, 3 years later? Thus, the second most embarassing moment of my life (which, again, was really my mother's second most embarassing moment of her life) was when I was again playing Scrabble again--- this time with my parents and some of their diplomatic friends. And, again, I couldn't figure out which dang word I could make with my available letters. So, again, I fiddled around with the letters, finally coming up with a consonent/vowel combo which looked like it might be a "real" word---- and then politely asked the group if the letters 'S'- 'H'-'I'-'T' spelled anything?...

(Hey, you've got to give me a break on this one. First of all, they should have learned the first dang time. And also, I was an overly protected child, attended school overseas, my parents didn't cuss--- and I just flat out didn't KNOW, okay? )

(I'm just very grateful that I hadn't asked that particular one in front of Miss Carnette. She was so frail that she probably would have fainted with her tea-cup still clutched in her lovely, manicured hand....)

(My mother never let me play Scrabble with her friends again. But I did play Scrabble a lot with the aforementioned doctor---until one night when I hit the Triple Word score with the word "doily". And he was the unhumorous type of person who didn't appreciate my sarcasm.....)

(Or it could have been the fact that I hollered: "HAH!" when I laid the letters down and then proceeded to LOUDLY count up my points, one by one, writing them down on the score sheet with large and obnoxious flourishes of my wrist...)

Anyway, as you can see, the male mockingbird still hates me so much that he isn't just satisfied with pecking me to smithereens....noooooooo, he's got to sit up there and give me hateful "looks". This particular look is ominous---and usually means he's about to attack.

And you have NO IDEA how much I want to holler up to him a totally insulting and defiant sentence that would really floor him. But...sigh... I try to hold my tongue so that my neighbors don't find out that I am quite proficient with the "F" word and can come up with some"colorful" cussing sentences when provoked....

5. I can fish better than any professional "angler" fisherman (or fisherlady). And I'm tricky, too.

In fact, I once had to babysit the aforementioned doctor's bratty kid from his first marriage--- and I had to rack my brains on what to do with that un-pleasable, rude, spoiled kid all day long. I had always tried to treat that kid as kindly as I could but it was useless---he just didn't like me. I was especially irked one time when that little butt-head remarked that I was "the female equivalent of Uncle Buck" .

Anyway, on that day, since we lived on a lake, the kid insisted on learning to fish---but we didn't have ANY dang fishing equipment. I told him that fact but he griped his head off and threatened to tattle on me to his dad that I had "ignored" him all day.

So I thought I'd trick the little idgit and set him up with some "fishing equipment"--- and then let him sit his bratty little butt on the pier all day. I knew he wouldn't catch a dang thing and that I'd get to amuse myself by watching him get bored to death sitting on the pier all day long.

Here's how I did it: I knew that he knew NOTHING about real fishing equipment and so I thought I was safe. I got a tree-twig from the garden, attached some household string to it for "fishing line", placed an un-latched safety pin on the end for a "hook"--- and then placed a piece of Oscar Meyer balogney onto the "hook" for bait.

I then said solemnly to the kid: "Okay, I'm going to show you how to do it--- and then you have to sit here and wait for a fish to bite, okay? It usually takes a long time. So I don't want to hear no whining outta you if you don't catch anything, because you're a first-timer after all."

So..... we went to the pier and I threw the "line" into the water.

....and then, to my utter mortification, suddenly the biggest damn fish you've ever seen in your entire life grabbed that balogney "bait"----

...and I was so surprised that I reflexively jerked it out of the water----

....and when I jerked it out of the water, that big whopper fish flew through the air over both our heads, still attached to that balogney bait with a death grip---and then I "landed" it on the pier before us. And thus, both me and that bratty kid stood there in complete shock and amazement, our eyes so wide open that we both looked like gigged frogs, watching that stupid fish flop around on the pier---less than 60 seconds after I'd thrown the durn "line" into the water....

(The only good thing that came out of that whole mess was that the kid was so impressed that he treated me a lot better after that.)

6. My parents were diplomats and so we lived all over the world when I was growing up. Unfortunately, due to the fact that our household help usually did not speak English, and the neighborhood kids I played with also didn't speak English---and also I was speaking three different languages at a very early age (I even dreamed in those languages)---my abilities in the grammar and writing of the English language went way downhill. And so, when my father had to interrupt his overseas work to take a 9-month tour in Chicago to finish his Master's Degree, I was enrolled in a "regular" American school.

(If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the little birdie-babies sticking their heads up out of the nest to get fed, which they do whenever mama comes around, of course. So CUTE!!!! )

Anyway, after taking one look at me and the way I spoke/wrote English, the school authorities in Chicago immediately placed me into the "remedial" English class. And many of the other kids in the school were very cruel, calling the remedial English class "the retard class"---and so I was teased mercilessly and called "a retard". And not only that, but the teacher ALSO ridiculed me the first time I wrote a paper in that class! (And that hurt my feelings more than being called a "retard".)

7. I have always had a very low self-esteem for various reasons (not just for the fact that I'm a recovering alcholic and have a lot of self-disgust about that.) And so, if anybody ever does anything nice for me, I will NEVER forget it and will hold an undying gratitude and loyalty to them for the rest of my life---even if what they did was a simple little thing that they may not have realized had thrilled me to death. (And they may not necessarily know how I feel about their kindness--- because I try not to embarass them by getting down on my knees and professing my gratitude to them--- but let me assure you, I'm grateful and never forget it.)

8. In fact, I'm very grateful to RN Someday for thinking enough of me to include me in this meme! THANK YOU RN SOMEDAY!!!!

Whew! Doing a meme is a kind of weird experience---kind of cathartic in a way!

Anyhoo, as for my mockingbird baby update, as you can see from the pictures I have continued my stubborn and dangerous pursuit of snapping pictures of the baby mockingbirds---and I am happy to announce that they are all healthy and doing just fine, YIPPEE!!!

(And I've got the peck marks on my body to prove it.....)

Gosh, I love those little things. It's going to break my heart when they finally mature enough to fly the coop....

They're getting bigger, their down is turning into feathers, and they're eating vigorously. I do note one "stronger" fellow who probably hogs the food, but the other two are strong also and are doing great. That fourth egg never hatched. (Which makes me sad.)

Anyway, the male bird has pecked the hell out of me. These days, he doesn't even wait till I get out there to start his aggression. If he even sees me at the balcony's glass doors, he will land on the balcony railing in front of me and start doing weird body "posturings" with his wings and tail feathers to "warn" and threaten me. It looks kind of like Bird Karate, where they go into those karate positions and make that noise: "Aaaiaiiiieeeeeee----YAH!" before they karate chop you or something.

(I wonder what he would do if I went into that type of posture and made a karate noise at HIM?)

(Okay, okay, I'll admit it---I DID do that on the balcony one day and that is one of the reasons that the Land-lady and some of the neighbors think that I need to be committed to an insane asylum....)

For fun, I'm doing a pictorial book of this whole thing, and I'm going to put narration in there with some funny stickers. (You know, those funny photo stickers that look like little "balloons" of conversation coming from the person's mouth? I've got tons of those sticker packs and I am going to try to make the project into a cute little "story".)

I got the bright idea of "getting help" with that male bird one day, and so I talked Belinda and my new secretary into coming out to my apartment the other day----and I gave them strict instructions to wave their hands around in a distracting fashion which might cause the male mockingbird to leave me alone long enough for me to snap a good picture. You know what those two chicken-hearted idgits did? The minute the bird appeared and started to swoop, they panicked and began screaming in fright--- and fled the balcony! They stood and watched my plight from the safety of my living room. The noise caused the landlady to again come out from her office to see what in the world was going on, confirming her already solid belief that I am as nutty as a fruitcake.

You'll notice that I've done as my sister instructed and left that hanging plant alone, in order not to disturb the nest. Of course the plant is dying and no longer has flowers. My sister felt bad that I lost a brand new plant and so she sent me an email this morning saying that the "Flower Fairy" would visit me at my mother's planned Memorial Day Gala when we all gather there next weekend!

(Yee-hah!! The Flower Fairy! I'm looking forward to THAT, I can assure you!!!)

Okay....time for me to tag some people for the meme. Hmmmm.... let me see..... (I wish I could tag everybody!)

So here they are (and I hope they don't mind!):

First some medical bloggers (including a doctor, so pay attention doc---and I hope you're not the type who aggravates poor innocent ladies by moving their doilies...):

Madness: Tales of an Emergency Room Nurse

Not Nurse Ratched

A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver

Chocolate and Raspberries

Psstt---Hey I'm Over Here!


Running With Scissors

Next: some knitting bloggers! (Go knitters, go knitters......)

Knitting Rose

Random Thoughts in Funky Fringe

Anyway, have fun folks!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. Guess what? (I've got another piece of good news HEE HEE!!!)

My mother told me that a couple of robins are in the process of building a nest on one of her patios. So next weekend when I go to her Memorial Day Gala, I'll try to get a pic of it if there's eggs in it yet. Think of it....beautiful blue robin eggs.....and if I get a picture of them, I can frame it for my mother.




Knitting Rose said...

Wow - those birds are too cool. I love the pics - the Meme is cool.
BTW do you know what that stands for? I don't. Anyway - i look forward to it and I will start thinking about it!

Runs With Scissors said...

Your photos and storytelling are amazing. I can visualize it all as I read. That male mocker should be grateful for your hospitality, by golly!

Thanks for the tag! I'm pretty new to blogging, but I'll do my best!

Not Nurse Ratched said...

Those babies are awfully cute. Cheep! Cheep! "Thanks" for the meme I have to try to think of something interesting about myself! :)

Beth in MN said...

Hey, Bo, my grandson fell in LOVE with one of your photos with the baby bird mouths wide open, and he wanted me to print up a copy for him to carry around and show his mama, etc (he's 3). I can't seem to print the photo ... do you have some "ban" on printing of the baby birds? :-)

Man, those are cute ... the first one you showed made them look almost like flowers ...

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Beth, as far as I know, there's no settings on my blog to prevent anybody from printing out anything they want on the blog, including pictures.

Try right clicking on the picture, then pick "save picture as" (and then choose a folder to save it somewhere), then later go to that folder, click on the pick and print it out.

If that doesn't work, send me your email address and I will send you the picture as an attachment (that's what I do with my family).

Tell your little grandson that he can have any pictures he wants! In fact, I printed out that exact photograph and framed it in my back bedroom. (And, of course, I'm making a book of ALL of the pictures to "tell the story"....aaargh!)

Runs With Scissors said...

Be sure to include photos of yourself both armed for battle, and with your peck mark battle scars! No story would be complete without those!

Warrior Knitter said...

I linked to your blog on my last post (down at the bottom). You're photo essay of the mockingbirds is great. Way more interesting comment-wise than National Geographic Channel. They need to hire you as their color commentator like they do for sports.

Ambulance Driver said...

But silly girl, I HAVE written a book!

Even better, the only pictures in it are on the cover!

paula said...

This whole mockingbird saga is so interesting. I like seeing the cute babies without having to risk getting divebombed myself. I love your pictures! I actually thought about your blog when I saw a mocker in Kroger's produce dept yesterday. He looked fat and sassy.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Thank you, Warrior Knitter! This whole experience has made me appreciate birds a LOT more! In fact, I'm even starting to like that dang male mockingbird that pecks me to death. (But he's starting to hang out right outside my glass doors---kind of close---kind of stalking---should I be worried?....)

And Ambulance Man---WOW! I'm behind the times and didn't know you wrote a book. If I can find out the name of it I'll buy it and read it!

Thank you, Paula---and everybody! I'll keep y'all posted!

twinsx2 said...

You need to water the plant. If you dare!

RN Someday said...

Bo - You are soooooo funny - loved the sharing of yourself you did - as always, and I love the story of the mockingbirds. I have actually experienced this myself. I worked in this office building (back in the day) that had a lovely courtyard in the middle. I used to have lunch out there quite frequently. One day I was having lunch and some people were passing thru the courtyard. At that moment, a mockingbird dive bombed the people, catching them in the head. I nearly fell on the ground laughing. This went on for weeks, we all figured out there must be a nest nearby, and yes, the bird came after me a few times too. Hilarious - Gina

radioactive girl said...

#7 I am very similar to. I am always so appreciative of others, even when they think they did "nothing". Great list!

poody said...

LOL I know now why the mockingbird is so agressive. You are threatening his family! Poor guy! You are too funny girly! I will do my meme this week. So what languages do you speak? I love the scrabble stories. you are right though they should have known better than to play with you!

Deacon Barry said...

A meme is a portmanteau word combining 'memory' & 'gene', coined by Professor Dawkins. It's the cultural equivalent of a virus, being an idea that replicates by being transmitted from person to person. Some memes are more durable than others, depending on how popular they are. This particular meme will only last as long as bloggers can keep it going. Others such as religion, democracy, and economics have been going for centuries.
They're very popular in the blogosphere for obvious reasons. They give the person tagged something to write about, and they help bind bloggers together with a bit of link love.
I hope that explains what a meme is.

911DOC said...

wow. great meme. what a life you have led. i imagine you are a fast typer. BHR, thanks for tagging me too. what about that cheerleading pic?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm not a blogger, I was just looking thru google for pix of baby mockingbirds. I had to rescue 1 from a cat a few days ago and have been feeding and caring for it until it flies off. (Don't worry I know what I'm doing, I've been doing it for over 35 years now and I haven't lost any yet to poor care, only to injuries that were too devistating to fix.) Anyway, on with why I am replying to a blog, which I never, ever do. Your story of the babies touched me because I think it's beautiful that you are taking pix and watching them grow w/their parents help. When I get them the parents aren't going to be able to help them anymore without getting eaten themselves. I wish I had the capability of taking pix of my little guy, I think you would really enjoy them. He is currently at the stage when I put live food into his cage that he will open his mouth like his mama is going to feed him, in the direction of the food like he's trying to induce the food to "jump in" after chasing it like that a while and squaking at it, he finally starts pecking at it until he catches it and eats it. It's pretty funny to watch. I just wanted to let you know I thing you are wonderful and not crazy at all, b/c if you are then so am I honey, so am I.