bunt sign

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

The local sparrows are just going to have to either get used to me or move on. They've set up housekeeping in the shrubbery outside my front door, and it's been a treat to watch them bring the young ones along. The babies are flying now, but not very far. I watched the parents feed two of the little ones on the ground under the birdbath this afternoon.

On their behalf I looked out for the cats, but the fledglings do know how to fly. They just don't do it very well or go very far yet. Every so often I'll see a frantic fluttering of wings out of the corner of my eye, and I'll know the babies are testing the airways once again. Up and down from the trees to the ground, but not much farther than that.

They don't mind my watching them, as long as I don't move around much. I can peek through the blinds as much as I want. I can stand at the screen door if I hold perfectly still. I try to be sensitive to their needs, but at least twice a day I have to leave the house. That's when the madness begins.

Between the lizards scurrying out of my way on the ground and the birds taking to the air, it's like a two-tiered video game whenever I open the door and step out. Everybody scatters and leaves me alone, as if they thought I had something sinister planned for them, when all I want is to have them perch on my shoulder and sing in my ear. (Except for the lizards. They're excused from that assignment.)

When I moved in here nearly three years ago, I thought I'd be one with nature after living here a while. I believed the animals would get so used to me that they'd ignore me, at the very least. I didn't really expect the wild creatures to lavish affection on me.

We've reached a kind of harmony here now. I tread lightly through the garden so as not to disturb any more animals than my mere presence offends. And they keep coming back, singing and chattering and using the facilities. It's a happy arrangement for all concerned. If the sparrows feel so comfortable that they're willing to raise their young on my doorstep, the least I can do is not bother them too much.

4 June 03

Three birds in the fountain.

The house finches are getting a little more familiar. No tree-dwelling for them. They're always surprised when I politely ask them to vacate the porch light. I just don't think that's the safest place for them to build. Plus, I get startled when I open the door and forget they're there. One of them landed on the screen door's crossbar this afternoon while I was sitting just inside at my desk. I suppose if I left the door open, they'd take over the whole house.

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I've been waiting a long time for Netflix to send me Barbershop, because I grew up in a the back room of a barber shop. My dad's shop was different from the one in the movie, but it had some of the same elements. It was a place where people could come and say what was on their mind, and somebody would listen. I don't think he ever gave anyone a shag or a fade, though.

This movie is a funny and poignant ensemble comedy with some rough edges and a warm center. A lot of things happen in the film, and yet the plot isn't the point as much as the mix of strong, interesting characters, well-played by a large and talented cast. It's also visually rich and textured, creating a world that made me want to be a part of it. It's hard to praise a movie more than that.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: In My Prime
"That's the secret to aging gracefully. Not that I'm aging. Or graceful. But it doesn't bother me if you think I'm an old fool or a case of arrested development. You're probably right. So what?"

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