Friday, September 11, 2009

Bueller. . . Bueller. . .

So. School's back in. Though I sincerely wish it was still summer, I guess that couldn't go on forever (and if you read the post about my summer, I don't think it could get any more awesome, either).
The first day of school always includes the new clothes, the new supplies, and the famous (or infamous) "first day of school smell." At my school it smells like old school and floor wax. Not particularly pleasant, but it's always the same every year. I hate the first day of school, to be honest. Even though no work is involved, it's the most boring day of the year. I don't know about anyone else, but listening to teachers talk about syllabi or their classroom rules (that are the same in every classroom) is not exciting. I also do not enjoy filling out countless papers about myself: my name, all of my contact information, what I like doing, my schedule. . . But, like I said, it's the only day we don't really have to do anything (unless you have my chemistry teacher, and then you have to do a confusing lab), and it's also likely the first time seeing those school friends that you're only friends with because you happen to be in the same class.
It amazes me that, even after an entire summer, I still find myself doing things exactly the same way. My friend, Isabelle, and I are creatures of habit like you wouldn't believe, and we fell into the same routine that we had last year (albeit in different places): at the end of the day, I met Isabelle at her locker, we went to the bathroom in the bathroom next to the gym (even though that's stupid because it's on the other side of the school from us now), and went outside to wait for the buses. . . in exactly the same spot as last year. Our buses even came at the same time. It's honestly like we never even left, which is somewhat distressing.
I don't know if this happens in anybody else's house, but the first day of school always includes the lovely first day of school pictures, with the nice first day of school outfit and the backpack and lunchbox and everything. They're always very half-hearted pictures (on our parts), but are always insisted upon every single year. Ridiculous and sarcastic poses are quite common. A cat at the bottom of the shot is also often seen in our pictures. It's extraordinarily entertaining to look at first day of school pictures as the years progress, because it's always interesting to see how fashion has changed (for the better, I might add) since I started kindergarten. Do you remember pleather? I wanted nothing more than a pair of pleather pants. It got some, and they got all cracked and little bits of the shiny part started falling off after I wore them a few times. I'm just going to say that I'm glad pleather didn't last long.
Anway, so school is back in. I've made it through the first week. Well, actually, the first four days, because we started on Tuesday. We'll see how the rest of the year goes.
To be continued. . .
Dancin' A Little Smidgeon Update:
Bert has been coming and going for this past week. We haven't seen Bernice since last week, and we're not sure if she just went home or if she has a nest somewhere. Bert is much stronger and looks quite healthy, but he still can't stand on his injured leg. He's able to stand on his one leg with no problem now, so he'll probably just do that forever now. Poor Bert. But he still flies perfectly fine, so he's doing all right. And that's the latest in Dancin' A Little Smidgeon.
~ Snooty Crumb

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dancin' A Little Smidgeon: The Saga Continues

Last week on Dancin' A Little Smidgeon, Bert found himself a new girlfriend, Bernice. They had just begun a new life together on the deck... So, the pigeons are, obviously, still here. Still nothing from the owners. Bert and Bernice have made themselves comfortable, spilling food and pooping all over the deck. But, as you know, things can't be perfect forever. Yesterday we looked out at them and noticed that Bert was panting heavily. Even if you don't know anything about animals, seeing one pant sends an alarm to your brain: Something is not right! (Just like Miss Clavelle in Madeline.) Eventually somebody went outside to give them some more food and scared him enough that he flew to the railing, where we noticed that he only stood on one foot. The other, his right foot, hung limply over the railing. We didn't know what was wrong with it, but he couldn't seem to stand on it at all. He eventually came back to the table, where he laid down and panted tiredly. Bert still seems to be hurting; he has difficulty standing on his other foot, like he's not strong enough to lift himself on just one leg. It takes him a few tries to stand up, but he can eventually stand and hobble to his food. He's been eating and drinking, which is good, and he hasn't been panting. We're not really sure what's wrong with his foot. We think it might be broken or sprained, because there's no blood or anything. Bernice has been adorable. It almost seems like she is protecting him. She stands close to him most of the time and sometimes looks like she's talking to him, comforting him. She'll look at him for a little bit and then start eating messily, as if showing him what he should do. Yesterday, when they were scared up to the roof by my dad (who was barbecuing), my mom saw that Bert was sitting a little farther up on the roof and Bernice was sitting closer to the edge, like she was standing guard. Whether she's really protecting him or not, it's really cute. I can safely say that I never thought I'd be this interested in the well-being of a couple of birds, especially pigeons. But when Bert started hobbling around, I honestly can say that it made me extremely sad for him. It's just so distressing to see an animal in pain like that. What makes it worse is that we don't have any clue what to do for him. We're just going to have to wait and see if it heals. Somehow we've actually grown kind of attached to Bert and Bernice. I know it's best that they go home, but they seem so happy here, and I almost don't want them to leave. Um, anyway, on a happier note: If you're looking for some great movies, you've come to the right place. I've seen three:

  1. Julie and Julia- EXCELLENT movie. Meryl Streep is absolutely perfect as Julia Child, capturing her spirit and personality perfectly, and Stanley Tucci is perfect with her. Amy Adams played her part wonderfully, as she always does. The two stories blended flawlessly, which I was a little apprehensive about. An all-around wonderful film.
  2. Never Been Kissed- Okay, I know this one's a little out of date (1999, to be exact), but I just saw it for the first time and thought it was very cute. The film depicts the high school horrors of being a nerd, which is a concept that I always find particularly relatable, and also the ever-important concept of second chances. This movie was about the nerds of every high school, and how there's more to them than people realize. Movies like these are precious and few ("'Cause precious and few are the moments we two share. . ."), and this one was excellent.
  3. All About Steve- I never thought I'd say this, but this was a chick flick that wasn't predictable!! If you ever see it, don't go into it thinking you know what's going to happen. Not only was it extremely different, it was also really hilarious (another movie about someone who's a little bit of a nerd.), and my mom and I found ourselves laughing our ways through the film. It was very refreshing to see Sandra Bullock (whom I am very fond of as an actress) let herself go and play a character besides her usual uptight businesswoman. Another excellent movie to add to your must-sees.

Well, I'll keep you posted with news of Bert, and if I see any more excellent movies, I'll be sure to let you know!

~ Snooty Crumb

P.S. Sorry there are no pictures.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dancin' A Little Smidgeon of the Kind of Ballet Sweeps Me Away...

We seem to have a sort of soap opera happening right at our house. The interesting thing about it (as if that's not interesting enough) is that the stars happen to be. . . PIGEONS.
It began that fateful day, August 22nd. We were eating dinner, and I happened to glance out the kitchen window and see, um, a pigeon sitting calmly on our deck table.
"Um, there's a pigeon outside," I said, completely bewildered by the presence of a pigeon anywhere in the vicinity of where I live. Needless to say, dinner was abruptly halted as we all gazed out the window at the pigeon standing on the table.
He was actually quite a lovely pigeon, not one of the ugly, dirty ones you find in cities. His body was a light shade of grey, with a dark grey stripe across his wings. His head and tail were dark grey, and his neck had a patch of almost-iridescent purple and green. He watched us curiously through the window, but didn't seem to be afraid of us at all. He was, as made clear by the yellow tag around his ankle, a racing pigeon.
By reading the tag and doing a little research on the Internet, we discovered that he was from a pigeon racing club in a town called New Tripoli, in Pennsylvania, on the other side of Allentown. My dad, who knows more about geography than both my mother and I, told us that Allentown is about 5 hours from here by car. Quite a long way for a little pigeon to fly, although we've learned that some pigeons can fly up to 50 mph!
My mom called the leader of the club, who knew to whom this pigeon belonged. According to this man, eventually it would be rested up and would fly back home. In the meantime, as we read on a website explaining what one should do with a lost pigeon, we should feed the bird, whom we named Bert, in honor of Sesame Street's resident pigeon fanatic, who happens to be very well-loved in our house, un-popped popcorn and grains with some water until he was rested enough to fly back home. We could also box him and take him several miles away and let him go, but we decided to let him be.
We assumed he would fly away after a few days, after resting for a while on our deck (while also pooping all over the place, including his water dish and food plate. Appetizing). After all, that was what the man had told us. Apparently Bert either had lost his way home or did not want to return there, because he never left. He would fly away for a couple of hours, but he kept returning to eat some food and rest on our porch table.
Four days later (he was supposedly supposed to leave after two or three), my mom headed downstairs and peered out the window to check if Bert was still there and discovered. . . another pigeon. This pigeon was not from a pigeon racing club, evident by the lack of tags on its ankle, and it was also a different breed. This one was almost entirely dark grey, with some lighter grey spots on the wings.
As we watched this strange and random drama unfold in front of us, we began to speculate Bert's story. Was he tired of racing? Did he want adventure? Did he have a forbidden love with this wild pigeon, whom we had named Ernestine (after Bert's friend and roommate Ernie from Sesame Street)? Was he lost? Did he need help from Ernestine, who could show him the ways of the wild? With these questions, we invented an entire story, called Bert's Big Adventure, in which a racing pigeon escapes from his coop and flies down to a small town to start a new life in the wild. But he eventually needs help, because he doesn't know how to survive by himself in the wild, and he finds Ernestine to help him. Eventually, they fall in love and live happily ever after on our deck table.
However, after two or three days, we never saw Ernestine again. Perhaps she was not up to the superior standards of this high-class, pedigreed pigeon. (Racing pigeons have extensive pedigrees, as we've discovered). After all, it was likely she came from a Kohl's parking lot. . . or worse, Home Depot. Perhaps she was too wild for him. But whatever the reason, Ernestine was gone, and Bert's Big Adventure does not end quite the way we thought it would.
We assumed that Bert would go home after Ernestine stopped showing up. However, assuming is not always the right option (you know the saying. . .). This morning, my mom got home from an errand and looked out the window to find yet another pigeon sitting on our deck table with Bert, this one with a tag on each ankle, one red and one yellow. This one was of the same breed as Bert and looked quite similar, except for the larger amount of dark spots on its wings and feet with a slightly darker red shade. This bird we named Bernice, which happens to be the name of Bert's beloved pigeon in Sesame Street, and is now thought of as our Bert's new girlfriend.
From reading Bernice's tags, we found out that she is also from Pennsylvania, from a different club in a town called Ashland. I did a little research myself and found that Ashland and New Tripoli are in neighboring counties. Perhaps Bert and Bernice had met before in races. We don't know, but they seem to be enjoying themselves. We think that it seems that Bernice is a little hesitant to be joining Bert in his wild adventure in the real world, because she didn't seem to want to leave the comfort of the deck often. She even almost seemed to want to come inside the house, as she sat in front of the glass door and stared in the entire time my mom and I watched a movie.
It has been exceedingly interesting to watch these birds. We still haven't heard from the owners, so they evidently aren't missed too much. I usually can't stand pigeons; they're dirty and steal food from unsuspecting tourists. But these pigeons are very clean (aside from the fact that they've been pooping all over our deck for the past two weeks) and are honestly kind of beautiful. We're having our doubts about the genders of Bert and Bernice. We haven't quite been able to figure out if Bernice is actually a male or if Bert is actually a female or if they're both male or whatever, but we're working on it. Anyway, whatever becomes of these birds, it's definitely not something I'll soon forget. It's certainly not something that happens often in a place where pigeons don't live.
~ Snooty Crumb
Doin' the Pigeon- Bert (Sesame Street)
Every time I feel alone/ And slightly blue/ That's when I begin to think/ It's what I'd like to start to do/ And though it may not be the kind of thing/ That's quite your cup of tea/ I recommend you pay attention/ To the little dance you're gonna see/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Dancing a little smidgeon of/ The kind of ballet/ Sweeps me away/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ People may smile but I don't mind/ They'll never understand/ The kind of fun I find/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon everyday/ People may smile, but I don't mind!/ They'll never understand/ The kind of fun I find/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon/ Doin' the (coo, coo) pigeon everyday