Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Went on a tour of a museum attic at the LNFU on Saturday.

It was amazing.

Even though it's in the process of being emptied out-which meant I missed out on a roomful of hippo skulls and a couple of whale skeletons, among other items-there was still enough stuff in there to thrill. And the atmosphere was of course spot-on: eaves; rafters; lath and plaster; wooden staircases to trapdoors in the roof; the original roof of one building hidden beneath the one created when a new building was tacked on.

Also: dust, lots of dust. Trunks covered in stickers from foreign lands and filled with the ephemera of long-dead explorers. A motorcycle. A giraffe head and neck mounted moose-style. A deflated elephant (really an elephant skin) under a table with one meat-and-boneless but still toenailed elephant foot on top. A bequeathed collection of antlers lining the walls and floor of a room off the room containing enormous plaster-cast vertebrae. A wall of taxidermied guinea pigs. A stuffed-sea-creature-section which included a dolphin, a walrus (plus some whiskery, tusky mounted walrus heads) and a beautiful manatee whose knobby schnoz was more sawdust than skin, owing to the ravages of time.

Even the staircase we took to get up to the attic was beautiful: white-painted wobbly wrought iron. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy ohboyohboy do I want to go back up there. I'm hoping that somehow the sheer force of my love for that space will cause someone to pull me from my current duties for a time and make me chief trunk-sifter.

I could tell who my fellow attic geeks were when, all of a sudden it seemed, the lights went out. The tour was over. If I'd had a flashlight with me I might have just hid behind a stuffed something-or-other and continued exploring. Luckily a couple of folks had cell phones, though, and they used their glowing screens to lead us back to the light of day.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I had a deadline last week for a new client and it took me much longer than anticipated to silence my inner critic. Also, the subject matter was tricky. Also also, it was my first attempt at balancing a 4x30 workweek with writing. I learned that when I'm on deadline I need more than four hours, which was all I had left in me at the end of working nine hours when you factor in the commute, to get through a draft. I need time to sit away from the draft and there's no space in four hours to do it.

This is all my way of explaining why I've disappeared from the blog yet again. But now I'm back! And this is despite a new writing assignment, plus a bunch of editorial work, and still the 4x30 at the LNFU.

Life has of course continued to happen, although as time passes I feel in some ways as though it is passing me by. I'm not sure what to do about this other than put it out there that I'm having such feelings.

Annnnnnnnnnyhoo, in other news, the bird at the LNFU was hit by a car, it turns out, and so she won't be back anytime soon, although she was brought to a wildlife rescue organization and is recuperating. In yet other news, on Friday I listened to a presentation on anal gland weaponry and learned much. For example: weaponry-it includes swords. Also guns. Also, anal glands.

Your present for reading all the way to the end is news that is both anal and ornithological: PolackPappy got me a dozen fresh, some-of-them-poo-speckled eggs! While they aren't from hens owned by backsliding Irish alcoholics, they are delicious.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Bird no longer the word

I noticed over the past couple of days that the momma bird at the LNFU nest was spending more and more time with her fluffy bum not resting atop her future children. Last night around 5 as I was walking nearby I saw/heard both birdie parents soaring and calling overhead. Since I haven't had time to research nesting habits I thought this might mean I didn't need to worry.

To be honest, I don't need to worry about wild birds regardless of the situation. But what can I say? I love me some critters.

Sadly, it looks as though the nest and its clutch of three eggs was abandoned. I don't know anything else at this point but someone in the ornithology department did provide a link to a fascinating eagle-cam which, when I last checked, had some adorable birdie action

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I ended up in the coolest place yet at the LNFU today when, while wandering an upper floor in search of a photocopier, I ended up in the mammal area. There were bags of disinfecting hides; enormous skulls with even more enormous horns and antlers stored in cabinets, on cabinets, hanging on the wall, and laying on the floor; circular silver radiators; a great big birdie nest on a dais; and some whale parts several feet taller than me.

It can be hard to find a window from which to get one's bearing while wandering the halls of the LNFU; this, compounded with my nonexistent sense of direction, can mean it takes me a long time to get anywhere. I eventually found the photocopier, but not before finding three mysterious staircases that I hope one day to have either the courage or the permission to ascend.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Tea at three

Went to an annual tea in the city on Saturday afternoon and was seated next to an absolutely delightful woman in her 70s who is as sweetly pretty on the outside as she is on the inside. She blindsided our end of the table when, while talking about her tough year, mentioned that, well, her youngest son had never gotten over the death of her husband, and was upset about her decision to sell the family home and move to a retirement complex, so he committed suicide, and she was the one to find the body.

And I put my hand on her arm and the other women murmured lovely, supportive things. And I was even more impressed by the energy she had about her. I'm lucky to have gotten to spend time with someone so smart and resilient.

After tea, my friend A and I walked to the Paulist Center for a little hippie Catholic mass. I'd promised her liturgical dance, and we didn't get liturgical dance, but we did get an adult baptism, along with a church full of engaged couples doing Pre-Cana.

Sunday evening I went to a crafts group, which is just like book group, but swap the novels for knitting, origami, and sewing. It was nifty.

And now, thanks to another writing assignment that I'm avoiding, I'm updating the blog. Yay for me!