flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

August 31, 2005

Tragedy, Not Crime

Earlier this year, a man decided to give his 15-year-old a driving lesson. He took her to the school parking lot, and put her behind the wheel of the car.

She completely freaked out.

She hit the gas instead of the break.

She roared out of the parking lot, across the street, and into a young woman. The woman was able to throw her baby to safety, but she, herself, was killed.

Now, there’s a 15-year-old who’s killed someone. There’s a baby who will never have a mother.

And there’s a father who, acting like every other father out there, tried to teach his daughter a common lesson of teenagers – how to drive. Instead, he’s exposed her to this horrific experience. Wanna bet on how he feels already?

But the courts have decided his action – again, a VERY common action – of putting an un-licensed teenager behind the wheel
was at least negligent, and possibly criminal.

They’ve charged him with felony homicide by vehicle and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter. And the judge took his daughter’s court date (she just finished her community service) as an opportunity to deliver a diatribe on what an awful person the father is.

This is, to me, worse than the parents who sue cities when their children die and the police/fire/ems people didn’t save the child. The parents need to blame someone. So they blame the city.

But this man did not commit a crime. I don’t know his child, but I’m going to guess that his worst fault was thinking his child could handle something she couldn’t. He – and she – are already paying for that. I just don’t think criminal prosecution has any place here.


I Don’t Want My MTV

I read a story yesterday about the MTV Music Extravaganza the other night. There was a blurb about Green Day accepting an award. They said something to the effect of: “It’s nice that rock and roll still has a place at MTV.” The article went on to explain that MTV was mostly hip-hop these days.

Today I read a story that says the
VMA audience was down 22%.

Perhaps I’m not the only one out there who lost interest when MTV only started playing hip-hop.

I used to love video channels. It was how I heard new music. No radio station where I live would play Radiohead or Tori Amos. But that kind of music is totally my interest. And you used to be able to catch videos for the new stuff in the “college music” genre on MTV or its sister station M2.

Nowadays, forget it. If it doesn’t have “featuring” in the artist listing, it doesn’t get air time.

I rely on XM to bring me music nowadays (thank the heavens for XM). I’ve removed the music channels from my TV menu. I guess I’m not alone.


August 29, 2005

Dear, He's Still Our Bruno!

This weekend was a harried (ultimate pun intended…) one for birdwoman.

I started ripping apart my lawn Friday night, went for a run Saturday morning, finished ripping apart the lawn, did 6 loads of laundry, washed the windows, etc all day Saturday.

Normally, I am quite a slovenly beast. This kind of ambition is not normal for me. (my mother is coming to visit next week. Enough said?)

Needless to say, I was done for on Sunday.

So, when we went out as a family to get the Moth’s haircut, I left him and his terrible-twoness with Dad at the Supercuts.



Stinky and I were waiting for Dad and the Moth patiently while looking at all the animals in the Petco. I turn and see this ugly little kid sucking on a sippy cup… hey, that’s just like our sippy cup… the sippy cup we brought to give to the Moth with lunch.

Oh. My. God. That ugly kid is MINE.

Dad decided to give Tim a buzz cut with the shortest clippers.

My timmy now looks like a cancer patient. With a bad attitude.

AND, bonus of all bonuses, we’re set to get Christmas pictures taken on Friday. Guess I’m gonna change the outfits of choice, cause Tim’s gonna be wearing a hat for this picture.

(Oh, and the title is a quote from The Witches that John kept saying yesterday as my eyes welled with tears.)


My 15 Seconds of Fame!

If you catch this blog today, go to the Philadelphia Flyers homepage. Check out the 39 days til faceoff pic... That's me, birdwoman, with my kin.

I'm the second beast from the left.

(if you miss it today, click on the more, then click on 50 pucks in 50 days. Once again, we're 39.)


UPDATE: Had to fix this one. Blogger ate my post. Guess that's cos I posted at lunch, and it was hungry, too!

August 26, 2005

The Pompeii of Turkey

Part two of my tv bonanza of Wednesday night (see post below).

The NOVA special that I watched was a special on an archaeological dig in Turkey. Seems that the gov’t was going to dam up the Euphrates, and just above where they were damming – the area to be flooded – was the site of an “important” ruin.

The town of
Zeugma was an incredibly rich, important city in the Hellenic times. It had both Greek and Roman influence, and was an important gateway to the east from the west. It was sacked by Persians some time around 300BC, and suffered from a landslide sometime closely after that, which completely buried the town.

Then, the Turks decided to build a dam, which would cover the area in water. Cue the “scientist scurry”.

Don’t get me wrong: they’ve found some really cool stuff at this dig. The sewer system of Zeugma was more advanced than that of London 1500 years later. The mosaics in the floor of one house were prettier than anything I’ve seen in our own time.

They also, because of the time constraints, were forced to be innovative in their method of discovery. They used techniques drafted by oil speculators to map the area. They used advanced computer methods and models to rebuild parts of the city.

Though the government delayed the dam completion for the dig, they did eventually have to flood the area. Not all of the dig has been covered with water, but much of it has. And here comes the question – what’s more important – a study of our past, or provisions for the future? Though I’m sad that Zeugma was ignored by the scientific community until it was too late, I think that electricity for the masses is more important.

Does that mean I have a lack of foresight?



OK, so Wednesday night’s TV veg fest was a back and forth flip between a really cool Nova special (more on that later) and a National Geographic special on Hurricane Andrew.

Imagine my surprise to see Drudge headlined with Hurricane hitting the same exact area that Andrew hit. I’d heard something on XM this morning – some caller on the 80’s channel requesting “Walking on Sunshine”, but the DJ said that joke was old, and played some other song (Orange Juice Jones – Rain). I wondered what the what was… Didn’t realize
Katrina and her waves were out to hit Miami/Dade County.

I would like to express sorrow to all the folks down there who have lost so much. Mother Nature sure can be a bitca.


August 25, 2005

I Guess “Crazy, Bloodthirsty, Greedy, Commie Scumbags” Wasn’t a Good Caption

The lead of yesterday’s Inquirer was the story on Stupid Pat Robertson calling to assassinate Hugo Chavez. There’s a picture accompanying the article of Chavez with his insane mentor, Fidel Castro. What’s the tag for the photo?

“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (left) and Cuba’s Fidel Castro in Havana yesterday. Both are vocal critics of U.S. policy.”

Yeah, that’s a good summary of them. Sure.


August 19, 2005

Of Racism and Innocence

So, on our train adventures the other night (see blog below), I picked up a discarded New York Post to help pass the wait.

One of the first stories was about the “Jew Couple.”

A couple from New York had gone to a restaurant in Joisey. They got their bill, on which the description read, in large letters, “Jew Couple.” They were, understandably, miffed. I read the article with a kind of disbelief – surely no one would be callously stupid enough to do this? But, the bill was there, a copy of it anyway.

My niece looked at it, perplexed. “I don’t understand. Why were they mad?”

“Well, that’s an insult. When it’s said that way, it’s derogatory.”

She still looked confused.

“OK,” I say, “pretend you have a restaurant. An African-American couple walks in. On the bill, you write “N***er couple.” (Of course, I made sure no one was around us, and totally mouthed, not said, that.) “It wasn’t meant as a description. It was meant as an insult.”

“But why would they do that?”

“To make the couple feel ashamed.”


She totally had no idea that people really do crap like that.

I sometimes wish I had no idea people do crap like that. I guess ignorance is bliss.


August 18, 2005

Engine, Engine, Number Nine

So, birdwoman is playing hostess this week. I’ve borrowed my sister’s daughter, and am showing her all the big city can offer.

Yesterday, for example, we went to New York City (or, as the Heir says, New Ork City.) We had a blast. Big buildings, pretty sky, mostly nice people… and then… somewhere in New Jersey, some poor, poor dude decided to end it all in front of our train.

We ended up sitting in the middle of Jersey (which any of my long time readers will know is pure torture for me) while they tried to save the guy, tried to figure out how the “illegal trespass,” as they were coding it, occurred, and tried to figure out how to get us to Trenton without “further” delay.

This kinda freaked out my niece. But she did really well. We ended up riding the subway in Philadelphia (by the time they got us back there, the trains out to the ‘burbs were all done for the night) at an ungodly hour. The gods of fate were certainly smiling, because there were no real weirdos out.

So, having faced the worst, we’re going to downtown Philly today. I think after that, she can face Chinablock, the independence mawl, and all the other crap Philly has to offer.


August 12, 2005

Confounded Hackers!

I write this as a curse upon all hackers. May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your pubic area. May you get flaming, itching hemorrhoids that prevent you from ever sitting in any sort of comfort. May you develop painful pustules on all of your fingertips that you cannot type EVER AGAIN.

Microsoft released critical patches on Tuesday. One of the vulnerabilities that was covered was exploited last night. This means all of Spacely’s enterprise has to be patched TODAY. Interruption of service = lost $$ = headache for me. Big, big headache. Also, we stil have a bunch of stuff we have to do over the weekend. Now, none of the guys on the team can even drink the headache into a hangover.

All because a couple of mooks in Slavistan don’t got nothing better to do.


It was so bad that people were jealous that I got to leave the office early - to get my crown finished off.


Of Me.

Going to the Dentist.


August 07, 2005

What’s In A Name?

The Moth is two. He’s very two: he wants to communicate, but is challenged in his speech ability.

He can say daddy, mama, mee-moo (that’s grandma, for you non-speakers out there), day-wok (titus, our dog). But Sean escapes him. Whenever you would say “Say Sean,” the Moth would give a mutinous stare.

Until Mom (that’s me) screwed up.

I have a habit of calling my kids stupid nicknames. Boo (before it became a street nick), silly, hoppy, stinky… well, you can guess what one Tim picked up on. That’s right. Sean is now called Stinky (or rather, tinky) by his younger brother. No matter how many times I say SEAN, Moth agrees with STINKY

Now, in the house of birdwoman, you can randomly hear phrases like:
- No, Tinky, Mine!
- Stop, Tinky.
- Tinky, go.

Yes, the Moth is a bit of an authoritarian.

Last night was the funniest, though.

They were playing in the bathtu, having way too much fun, and splashing a lot. I wanted to end it. I say, “Timmy, you ready to get out?”

“No, Mama. Tinky turn.”

Not bad, for two year old logic!


August 03, 2005

If You’re Going To Admire A Woman

I nominate Rebecca Lolosoli.

Rebecca is a Kenyan woman who was cast out of her village for the crime of being raped. That’s right, girls. If a woman is raped in Africa, she brings shame to her family. They can cast her out, or even stone her to death.


Well, Ms. Lolosoli and a group of her fellow outcasts formed their own village. With their own rules. And No Men Allowed.

They take in children who have been sold into marriage with old men.

They have their own daughters protected from female genital mutilation.

There are about 40 women in this village. They’ve sustained themselves by building a cultural center for the tourists who come to the animal reserve near their village.

Interestingly, a group of male Kenyans have tried to do the same thing right next door, with no success.

Go read this article, about a truly awesome individual. Then go read
Baldilocks, cause she’s the cool chick who pointed me to this article in the first place.


Will Someone Tell the Troll In My Head to STOP?!

I’d like to know exactly what I’ve done to deserve this.

I have a hangover.

Nausea? Check.
Headache? Oh, lord, check.
Aversion to light? Check.
Anything remotely alcoholic to drink in the last two weeks? NO!

Totally not fair.


August 02, 2005

Spice World

You know, I’m not much of a news junkie. John covers that area in our house. But there’ve been all these headlines lately that I just can’t ignore.

Someone wants to get all the radical wasabi out of the country.

Now, I’m a fan of sushi. Really. And wasabi? It is the most awesome mustard around. If you’ve got allergies, the stuff is heaven.

Now, some anti-sushi nuts want to ban radical wasabi?

When will the madness stop?


August 01, 2005

Crown Him With Many Crowns!

I alluded in a post below to my current sitch with the dentist.

I have exactly one crown in my mouth. It was done back in 2002, and at the time, I was like, are you sure it's not better just to pull the darn thing? The dentist was like, no honey. These things are done every day and last for decades.

At my most recent checkup, the cement was missing in one section of the crown. This means bacteria, the little s.o.b.'s, could get under the crown and eat my defenseless tooth. So off came the crown. Since most of the cement was still in place, this removal involved pliers, torches, and varius other medieval sundries. With me awake and no novacaine. The smells, sounds, and sensations were just Awesome! (sarcasm alert).

Dentist says there was some decay under the crown, so we've got to do all this grinding, new filling, and new crown. (see above re painkillers)

I asked again, why don't we just pull the damn thing (less polite this time). She says, no, no, you should keep your teeth as long as possible.

Just got the copay statement from the insurance company. Now I know why she wanted me to keep the tooth...