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Say, "Every time a bell rings, some fresh-baked bread gets its wings" in a Jimmy Stewart voice.











Maybe you had to be there.

Dude. Seriously.

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I just watched Metropolis for the first time.

Humanity will never make a more perfect film.

Seriously.

What up, world. Look at my pika.

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So I decided to stop dicking around and teach myself to draw. I've always wanted to get really good at art, but to be honest I've always been kind of intimidated by it. I mean, my dad and my grandpa were both freaking incredible artists and I've always felt like I shouldn't even try to measure up to that.

But I've been awfully depressed lately, so I thought a good way to get myself feeling happy and excited again would be to give some art a whirl. I've done cartoony stuff before, and random doodling, but I've never seriously attempted to replicate something real-looking before in my life. This is my first sketch ever. It's a pika. Pikas rock. (lol, a pun.)

Click this to see ye olde pika.

It's got some problems, and I'm still trying to figure out how to use pencils, but I think it's really not bad at all for a first-ever attempt at sketching. I mean, it looks like a pika. That's a good thing, right?

Maybe I'm not totally devoid of all talent after all.

Critiques from knowledgeable artist-types are welcome! I'd love to learn how to improve my new-found skills.

Another movie review.

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Speed Racer.

Like looking upon the face of God, it was beautiful and terrible, enlightening and confounding, comforting and fearful. And like looking upon the face of God, it ultimately answered no questions. The mysteries have only deepened, yet I now understand both the insignificance and the unbearable importance of all things.

I am left feeling empty; bereft.

There was a veritable cavalcade of umlauts in the credits. The Germans have created either a weapon or an instrument of peace. Only time will tell.

Pray, my friends. Pray for understanding. Pray for mercy.

My review of Iron Man.

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Robert Downey Jr. blowing shit up = TEH SEX.

Here's one for LJ-RIG.

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It's a barn owl cake! Will is the best husband EVER!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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I go to a small gym, attached to the local community center. It's way cheaper than a big supergym, and nobody tries to sell me supplements. Anyway, this evening I arrived before the usual post-work rush and started working out on the stairclimber. I'd been on it for two minutes when this guy and girl walked in. The girl got on the only other available stair machine, and the guy moped around lifting weights in a totally lame way. He approached me, made a big show of peering at the screen of my stair machine, and walked away before I could ask him if he needed help with anything. I went on with what I was doing.

A few minutes later, he approached me again and motioned for me to take my earphones off. "Yeah?" I said, in a friendly way, still thinking he needed help of some kind.

"Are you aware that there's a 30-minute limit on the machines?"

"Of course. I've been on for about eight minutes."

"Well, I already saw that your machine said 28 minutes a while ago. You're obviously lying."

OH NO HE DIDN'T.

Before I could give him a snappy retort, he walked off to mope some more. I rolled my eyes and kept going. Before too long, he was back again, staring up at me rudely. I ripped the earphones out of my ears and said, "WHAT?" This time I was not being friendly.

He said, "What do you have to say for yourself?"

"EXCUSE ME?"

"I asked you, what do you have to say for yourself?"

"Here's what I have to say for myself. This machine counts backwards. When you saw that it said '28,' that meant I'd been on it for two minutes, not twenty-eight minutes. I still have twenty minutes left to go, so you're going to have to wait like everybody else."

He shook his head as if denying that I could possibly be right, then wandered out of the gym and into the front area, probably looking for a staff person so he could tell on me real good! I hoped he would find one, because I'd get to smirk at him while the staff told him that indeed the machines here count backwards, which is obvious if you do more than just glance at them. What a prick.

Anyway, apparently he couldn't find any convenient source for his tattling, so he returned and lurked around opposite me, across the gym, giving me serious stink-eye whenever I made eye contact with him, which was frequently, let me assure you. A few times, he made a big show of looking at his watch and then glaring disapprovingly at me, to which I mouthed, "BACKWARDS!" and kept going.

At last my 30 minutes were up. I wiped down the equipment, and then turned to him where he was leaning against his girlfriend's machine and said, "It's all yours."

"Oh, how generous of you."

As he got onto the machine, I said to him, "Hey, just so you know. Once you actually start using this machine and you realize that it counts backwards, you're going to feel like a real dick for calling me a liar. I just want you to know I forgive you for being an ass to me."

I walked toward the cubbies, where my stuff was stashed. He yelled after me, "Yeah? Well I didn't ask for your forgiveness!"

"No," I replied, smiling, "but you'll wish you had when you realize that you called me a liar when I was right. So it's all good between us."

He said something else, but I had cranked my Nabokov and said, "Sorry, can't hear you. I'm listening to something much more interesting than your pompous prattling. Have a nice day."

Then, since I've been going to that gym forever, I went and found the staff and told them that some weird old guy was harassing gym users. They were most interested to know this.

I wouldn't have attempted anything like this with a guy who was more fit and looked like he could kick my ass if I pissed him off, but this guy was at least 55, at least four inches shorter than me, and scrawny as hell. I could have broken him like a twig if he'd tried anything. He was wearing unflattering gym shorts and a SPACE JAM T-SHIRT (lol) so I doubted there were any weapons hidden on his person, and if he'd tried to follow me out to my car, I would have whipped out my phone, called the police, and screamed like bloody hell until he backed off. I try to be somewhat cautious about speaking my mind to assholes, ever since Will scared me out of flipping off drivers who piss me off. Most of the time, if I can't size them up easily and determine whether I'm relatively safe, I just roll my eyes and keep doing what I'm doing.

Still, what a fucking dickwad. Who just waltzes up to a total stranger and calls them a liar and gets all confrontational like that? He fucked with the wrong chick.
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Yesterday was the first day I was ever able to handle a raptor. It was thrilling!

After the usual routine of filling up water dishes for the birds who would be outside and scrubbing mews (the indoor flight-rooms where they live off-exhibit), and the weighing routine (all the birds are weighed daily to monitor their health and flight condition), I got to take the spectacled owl out to his perch and tether him. It was uneventful, and I was a bit nervous. G, the female raptor keeper, said I did well although I moved a bit too fast. I'll need to practice moving more slowly. The spectacled owl didn't care, but some of the other birds are much more sensitive and I could have spooked them.

We finished cleaning and then it was time to cruise some birds. Cruising is the act of carrying them around on the fist, so that they can get a bit more mental stimulation and so that we can interpret for the zoo visitors (which basically just means teach them about raptors).

It was decided that I could cruise the spectacled owl! G handed him off to me and he immediately began flapping an pecking at my glove. She told me to hold still and wait until he was finished. I asked what this behavior meant, and she said, "He's copulating with your glove!"

Ha ha. The bird made sweet love to my hand. I told you guys he has a crush on me!

After that little episode was over, we cruised for a while. The weather was erratic, with some windy moments and a bit of sprinkling rain. There were a few booms of thunder, which startled the owl, but he didn't react too badly - just gave a little jump. Then, just as a few guests walked up, he decided that it was time to romance the glove again and did so vigorously. They asked what he was doing, so what the hell - I told them. "He's doing some breeding behavior with the glove," I said. They seemed a bit shocked. Hey, that's nature, my friends.

Finally, there was a nice flash of lighting and a louder peal of thunder, so it was time to bring all the birds inside. We headed back indoors, and then quickly prepared a few birds for their training flights. The flights went well, in spite of the drizzle and the stormy weather. The gyrfalcon few beautifully. She is incredible to watch. A small group of teen-agers were standing around "watching" her training flight. She dives at the lure and goes up higher than any of the trees, then stoops back into the raptor yard right over the heads of the zoo visitors. This time, she shook things up a bit, zooming right under a huge maple tree near the viewing benches. She flew at full gyrfalcon speed within a couple of feet of the teen-agers, who stood around staring at some electronic device in the hands of one of them; they didn't pay any attention to the bird as she went past so close they could have touched her. How can you ignore something like that?!

Kids today.

Best of all, I got to watch the barn owl fly. He's gorgeous. I could go on for hours about how graceful and ethereal barn owls are, especially in flight; but I won't bore you, and instead I'll work on some photos.

Sayonara!

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monocleostrich
The Monocle and Ostrich

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