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 25, 2017

See You On The Dark Side of the Moon!

Eclipse 2017. The Great American Eclipse. Where... were... you????

Well, about a year ago, I read in one of my nerd magazines that there was going to be a total eclipse coming to a continent real near me in the coming year. I pointed it out to my dear dirty bird. We looked at each other... minds once again in synch...


Now, dear reader, if you don't know, both of us are kind of a little nerdish. Um, maybe more than a little. We were PSYCHED. We'd both seen the mostly almost full eclipse back in 92 (93?) but never a full one. We mapped the closest places and he booked a really cool cabin on a fantastically cool lake.

One day of eclipse chasing, one day of water skiing.

But it came close to the nerdcation, I was more than a little embarrassed. We were going to drive 10 hours down to the middle of freaking Tennessee just to see an eclipse. Yeah, we purchased glasses (a year ago from a reputable nerd outlet). But really. We could have seen 80% from home. And we were going to turn around 48 hours later and drive home? Really?

I mean, the lake was nice, but isn't Harvey Pond just as nice?

So, I didn't really tell many people. I was ashamed of the level of my nerdocity.

Let me tell you, there are a heckalotta nerds out there!

First, the roads down to TN were JAMMED. Completely, utterly jammed. Then, when we were just trying to get back to our cabin from the town where we watched it? That 1.5 hour trip took 4.5 hours. Yikes.

Now, we were eating our lunch the day of the eclipse (at Buddy's BarBQ) and one of the staff told us that we'd best get out there and start looking because it was happening.

So, we went out. We stood in the parking lot of the Hobby Lobby and watched for 45 minutes as it got windier and darker and OH MY GOSH it was so cool! We weren't alone, but there weren't a whole lot of ppl in our particular strip mall - maybe 50 or so.

We missed the eclipse party. It was, I kid you not, across the street in the parking lot of the Walmart. There were people camping there. One was playing weird music and had signs welcoming the aliens - not so far out of scope, as apparently it is very rare for a planet to have a satellite that appears to be the same exact size as its sun... solar eclipses would be a very rare thing in the galaxy and would be a definite tourist stop for star-traveling aliens. A few were passing a funny cigarette, as Moth pointed out. It was a time of coming together in the Athens Walmart.

And then we had to turn around and come home. It was a good nerdcation, but I am glad to be home!


June 10, 2017

The Shirt

Recently, Moth's natal anniversary passed. He is now well and truly into his teenage years. He's still a goofball, and kind of like a very large puppy, he looks a lot older than he acts.

So, Moth's birthday was on a Sunday, and Amazon delivered a package. I was out when it came. Apparently, Mothy was so excited that Amazon just sent him a free package that he didn't even look for any paperwork. It said it was for MothMan of the Dusty Aviary, so it was his!

I came home to Dad and Stinky laughing. Apparently Moth had just put on The Shirt and worn it around. John said it reminded him of a Brady Bunch episode...

 Upon seeing The Shirt, I had to agree. Unfortunately, I never got a picture of him in it, as I came home later.

At one point, after I got the story of the Free Package From The Amazon Gods,  I asked Tim to find the package The Shirt came in. He was convinced it was just a freebie from Amazon. Of course, it wasn't: 

Then comes the awkward. Did granny and poppy really order The Shirt for Moth? I send a text with the picture saying something to the effect of "Hey, the shirt came! Thanks!" But before the text went through, the weekly phone call occurred. Talk about dancing around it. "Tim thought the shirt was really... neat! Thanks! Yeah, it fits fine." But Granny with her granny radar knew something was up. Thus began a text/mail dance until the picture finally got through. This is the email I received:

"Tell me this is you two being evil parents again

Sent from my iPhone"

and shortly later, when she had access to an actual keyboard:
 OMG is this what Amazon sent????

so, no, it was supposed to be a completely different shirt: an under-armor thingy that sporty Tim also loved. They have not gone the way of the grandparents from 16 candles.

I just LOVED that he saw The Shirt as a gift and didn't care what it looked like. He actually thought it was cool! (Until Stinky and Dad made the ever-living fun of him that is. )

There's some life outlook thing in there somewhere. I'm not deep enough to pick it up. Maybe you are?



May 16, 2017

Happy Mothers' Day

So my mom. She's a shell of who she used to be. She's in a home - and I thank God for them all the time. The folks there are amazing and taking great care of her.

I spent a few hours with her, talking at her some, wheeling her around the place. Of course, it rained, so we couldn't go outside. I asked her about her childhood - that seems to be the clearest these days. I asked if they had pigs, and she answered yes. Asked about horses when we saw pictures of them. "Yes, we had two. One was a big black horse."

"Did your horses have names? Or were they just the horses?"

"We called the big black one Nigger."

Whoops. Shouldn't have asked that question. It was a different time, of course, but darn. I'm still cringing at that one.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.


She wanted ANYTHING but this. Anything. She can't really talk. She can read but can't comprehend, really. I went up to see her this weekend - on Mother's Day. I took a bluetooth speaker and played all the old favorites. She had her hands tapping and strumming with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. She sang along with Roger Miller, Elton Brit, and Tennessee Ernie Ford. I could almost see her in there.

And then Big Rock Candy Mountain came on. And she started to sing along. And her eyes cleared. And she realized where she was. And she started to cry. Just a little. Took off her glasses and wiped her eyes then stopped singing and stared out the window.

She's a prisoner in her own body.

 She does have some control - won't take her meds if she can help it. Doesn't eat much. They think it's because she's "distracted". I think it's because she's trying to get away in the only way she can now. Course, I've always been Debbie Downer.

If I had my druthers, I'd go like my Dad. 59 years old. Good life, all in all (as John Denver said). Done in a flash, and it was nobody's fault. It was hard at the time - and it scarred some of my family members for a really long time. But people remember him as he was, and no one had to watch him suffer. No one had to feel guilty for allowing him to suffer.


I know it's not about me. I know it isn't. But darn it, I wish I could do something. Anything. And I can't.

Happy mothers day.

February 15, 2017

Puberty Stinks

Puberty does stink! Sometimes, quite literally. And Moth is averse to showering.

So, the news in the aviary.

Stinky is a registered lifeguard and has his learning permit to drive.Yet, there is a story...

After Stinks went through the gruelling training at the Y, the trainers really liked him. They offered him a job. At the Y! He was psyched. He just had to get a drug test done within 72 hours... So, after years of telling me I don't know how to use the internets, he couldn't figure out how to make an appointment or where to go... Mom to the rescue. I made the appointment, and Dad decided to drive him as it was early morning (before school).

Of course, Mom got the wrong place, so Stinky corrected Dad... only to find out Mom was right. They rushed to the other place, got there in time, only to find that Stinky forgot to bring his photo ID.  (that Mom left on the table).

He lost the job. He can reapply in 6 months. Harsh and humbling. But he admitted it: it was totally his fault.

Moth, on the other hand, is digging himself a grave that he doesn't seem to want to get out of.

He seems to be hooked on social media - even though we don't allow it at home. His language has become roughly equivalent to a Merchant Marine with 25 years in. After Dad blocked Instagram from the chromebook, Moth wrote an email to his father calling him an unbelievably bad name. He's also called me a very Bad name. He's also been very sneaky lately, and just a misery to live with. As he's NEVER been this kind of kid, I have to hope it's the hormones.

I did, however, get a bit of unplanned revenge.  One morning, as I was prepping for work, I was watching a video on my computer. I couldn't hear the sound. I tried turning it up to max; still couldn't hear it. I stopped when I heard Moth scream yet another invective at his brother. Except his brother wasn't upstairs.

You see, the heir has a bluetooth speaker and has taken to pranking the spare... playing spooky sounds or what not. Stinks was making his breakfast, nowhere near his phone. But somehow, Tim was saying all the crap that was coming out of that speaker. I was like, "I bet Dad did it, trying to get you up." "Dad's not a prankster." "You don't know your dad."

Then, I started to realize the words Moth mentioned were ones that would probably have been on the video I was trying to play. After horsing around with Stinky the night before (I kept playing Nickelback and he kept playing Radiohead), I inadvertently linked my computer to his speaker.

So, it ended up I pranked the little dirtball into getting up 20 minutes early. He was not amused. I SO was.

Life with teenagers. Find the fun where you can!


December 04, 2016

Smells Like Baltimore!

For myself this year, I bought tickets to 3 different Philly Pops concerts. The first was the Christmas Extravaganza, which took place today.

For my music-enjoying partner in crime? I took Moth.

Moth loves music. One time, Granny took us (the boys and me) to see South Pacific at a dinner theater. When the lead actor was singing Some Enchanted Evening, Stinky was leaning back against the wall, arms crossed, eyes rolling. Moth was leaning forward, chin on fist, eyes glued. When it was over, he turned to me and said, "that was awesome!" (and it was!)

Today featured, besides the Pops, the Pops Choir, an organist, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, a Gospel Choir, and a Feinstein/Connic Jr kinda guy.

But, to make sure we weren't late to the show, as we were taking Septa, we went a bit early. Deciding to eat lunch at Moth's pick, we walked. And walked. (Pizza? No. Max Brenner Chocolate Place? No. Sushi? No. Chinese? No. It was like the "quit it - ow" refrains from Simpsons.) At one point, Moth sniffs the air.

"It smelled like Baltimore just there."

I quickly sniffed, but all I smelled was city.

"I think that's just city, kid."

So we walked and walked some more and finally found something that appealed (Wishbone chicken which was fantastic and had the coolest sodas evah). Upon leaving, we started walking (sigh) back to the Kimmel center. Along the way, my nose had cleared enough from the spices to smell, and BOY did I smell something. Someone was toking, big time.

"There it is again! It smells like Baltimore!!"

Granny and Poppy, where have you been taking my Moth when he visits? Inquiring minds want to know.

The concert was great. Tim loved it, except when he didn't... which was only with the Gospel choir. Not a surprise. That one's a strong genetic component from the father.

He even plugged his ears until I nudged him :).

Happy Christmas season to all, and to all, a good night.

December 01, 2016

Happy Birfday to Stinky!

As is the tradition in the dusty aviary, we celebrated the recent natal day of Stinky by eating. We eat a lot - I especially eat a lot - but birthdays are a special occasion.

We went to Iron Hill - something for everyone. Interesting foods and beers for Dad (who is quite the epicurian), tasty alcohol for Mom (who, apparently, had to give up several sips in "birthday boy" tax last night. Apparently, he likes raspberry lemonade :) ), and fatty, greasy food for two gargantuan "boys."

They don't get along at all, my boys. Not sure why. I think it's spoiled child syndrome. Since I fought like a tiger with my sibs when I was little, but think the absolute WORLD of them now (really, I have the coolest family ever), I hold out hope for my two sprogs. Maybe someday they'll see that they have things in common. Maybe.

Anyway, going out for the birthday meal (we don't do presents, as, well, they're spoiled already. Don't really need anything!) we got to reminiscing about old times.

The original birthday restaurant was Chili's - called Chucks because the only time we used to see Chuck was when we'd meet up with him for dinner. As he's moved to the left side of the country, we don't even see him there anymore :(  Think of him often, though.

Is this getting old? Remembering more and doing less? Except we're not doing less... we're just remembering as we're doing. So I guess that's the middle.

And now, I have to grade before going to a meeting. It's Thursday, I'm listening to Christmas music in school, and it's a Beautiful Day In Pennsylvania! So... on this Throwback Thursday, enjoy, enjoy!


November 24, 2016

poor little me

So, Birdman has been quite the handyman of late. He googles and youtubes and channels Bob The Builder (can he fix it? yes he can! mostly!) whenever we have something break in the dusty aviary. So, two weeks ago, the stuff, it started breaking again. He Was On It!

Broken whack job hinge that is out of warranty? Fixed! (after much swearing). Weird lights coming on in the cars? Fixed! Medicine cabinet door snaps off? Fixed!

Except, this presents a new problem for me...

See, he had to replace the medicine cabinet. And he did a fantastic job. But. The medicine cabinet is child proofed. It's waaaaay up high in the bathroom. The handle is, I crap you not, over my head.

I am the only one who in this house who has to tippytoe to open the damn thing. Sometimes, I hate living with giants. Moth has taken to calling me the imp or Tyrrrion or midget... definitely Harvey genes there. Stinky just looks down on me, gets his Larry glint in his eyes, and grins. I know what he's thinking. He knows I know what he's thinking. Point to giant.


Another thing John has gotten into as of late is Words With Friends - or rather frienemies. I have heard much of the might and wrath of Thundarian and his ilk. Today, Moth challenged Dad to a game of scrabble. There was much going back and forth, but with the strategically placed "hats," Moth pulled into the lead. And Dad had to go take a shower. So, Tim officially won the match. Poor Dad.

And now, we're off to the original Birdland to be birdibles (like cannibals only eating a great, big bird) and hang with the Harvey crew. (or crΓΌe, if you're from the 80's, as we are. )

Happy Thanksgiving!