MySpace Blogs March 2006 A

And now they wait….
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


Tonight was it.  The night they finished getting all the information in one place so they can pay Uncle Sam.  For reasons that are too numerous or perhaps embarassing to explain, the Parakeet and her husband have had to pay taxes the past two years.  Yes, beyond what was withheld. Like another check. That’s right – They learned quickly that, in the land of the self-employed performer, an accountant was necessary.  They are so grateful for that accountant. But preparing for the annual meeting is daunting and nerve-wracking.  They opened a fresh bottle of affordable “mediterranean wine” from Trader Joe’s, fresh off American Idol, and they waded through paper.  Without argument or discussion, in fact, with a sort of silent resolve, they totaled mileage, interest, and charitable contributions.  The parakeet dictated numbers.  Her husband typed them into a calculator.  Then they reversed those duties. They copied numbers from various statements, put everything in nice neat stacks, and only an hour later, sat back with satisfaction. No, trepidation. Is it really done?  

 Next Wednesday, just seven short days from now, the Parakeet will meet with the accountant. He will tell them if their prepartion was enough, if they paid too much or too little last year, if they claimed too many deductions, and most importantly…how much they owe. 

It’s true they had all this information a month ago and they had plenty of time to tackle the task. While there is plenty of procrastination in all of us, even the parakeet, procrastination is not the real reason the task is put off. The task is put off for fear.  A fear that once again, the Russells will have to dig to find more money to send the government.  A fear that once again she did not monitor her income and expenses correctly throughout the year. Time to face those fears.

If everyone in internet land could send the Russells good vibes for tax season, they would greatly appreciate it. 


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Category: Life


“One of the most important things you can have in a parakeet cage, besides food and water, is a toy or two. A parakeet is a VERY intelligent creature and can literally go stir crazy if he doesn’t have something to play with.”

Oh, internet, thank goodness you are there, but how distracting you become. Toys are so much more interesting than work.

The parakeet thought she might get her house clean this morning. She woke up with purpose. She does work part-time after all. It seems that in that other part of time she could pick up the house, do the dishes, clean the bathroom sink. Maybe.  Well, the internet just couldn’t be ignored.  Maybe this parakeet needs her cage free of toys for just a bit to focus on the more mundane, practical tasks of life.  Although, we don’t want her going crazy, now do we? 


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sweet Relief
Category: Friends


The Parakeet gets terrible headaches.  They are usually on one side of her head at the top of her neck and in her temple.  They last a long time, they are not easily persuaded to leave.  They started nearly five years ago and definitely come in spurts.  She wavers between believing she has migraines, sinus, or tension troubles. But really, does it matter? She has to sleep in a dark place to get rid of them.  Or puke. Seriously.

Last night, her and the huz waited a little longer than usual to eat dinner…and yep, triggered a headache.  She took some tylenol which helped a little, and curled up on the couch while he watched three episodes of Smallville.  He has been working his way through the entire show and is currently on season 2.  The parakeeet has a keen dislike of the song, “Save Me” that preceeds each episode.  Luckily, the huz was on the ball enough to hit “mute” each time the theme started and the parakeet just pulled the blanket over her own head.  No need to shut her up this time.  I believe she even got a foot rub out of the deal.

This morning, the two of them were in a rush to get Huz to the airport by 7:30.  But the headache still remained.  The parakeet ended up making two trips to O’Hare. Don’t ask. Then slept for another two hours, walked the dog, took a hot bath, and went back to sleep.  At noon she called a friend she was suppose to meet at Bally’s.  Uh-huh. Not happening.  The headache had camped out permanently in her neck.  This friend, who is totally a dear, rode her little bike down from Roger’s Park with a remedy sent to earth by pharmecutical angels:  Excedrin Migraine.

The parakeet, looking quite rough with hair in a sloppy partially wet ponytail wearing fleece pajama pants and a T-shirt that said “ROMA University” popped two pills with a glass of water, and slowly but surely her eyes awakened.  She felt a new life run through her spine within twenty minutes. She was energized, alive.  The friend laughed, but she knew. She knew the sweet relief that Excedrin Migraine could bring.

A unique blend of acetominophen, aspirin and caffeine that will no longer ever be absent from the Russell’s medicine cabinet.  Ever.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Playing Alone
Category: Pets and Animals


Throughout her childhood, and let’s face it, into college, the Parakeet had a paralyzing fear of dogs.  Paralyzing is not quite the right word, since as soon as she heard barking she was running down the street, dust literally kicking up behind her.  The Parakeet’s family lived on a dirt road. 

There were times she was known to throw down her bike and sit on a parked car if she saw a stray.  She would yell feebly “Go. Go.”  until the dog wandered away or some adult came by wondering why a child was yelling from on top of a car.  Perhaps the worst times this fear grabbed hold were in the years of girl scout cookies.  The little parakeet, accompanied by her mother, would ring the bell of someone’s home hoping to sell them a girl scout treat or two.  A dog would bark and come to the door and the Parakeet bolted down the driveway, her order form flapping in her hand, leaving her poor mom at the door to ask shyly, “Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies? My daughter’s afraid of dogs.” 

There are many more stories of the young Parakeet and canines.  But more on that later.  Fast forward:  The Parakeet meets the love of her life. He comes with a dog.  A dog with jaws so strong that when he latches on to a frisbee you can lift him into the air.  This dog is not scary, though, and the Parakeet slowly accepts him. His name is Percy. He is a Jack Russell Terrier.

Married life brought many changes into Percy’s life. He was no longer allowed to sleep in the bed.  His walks were maybe a bit shorter.  He was, in fact, jealous of the Parakeet. It seemed maybe Huz loved her more than him. But, Percy and the Parakeet have tried to get along and occasionally they manage.

This week, Huz is out of the country.  This means that the Parakeet is taking care of him on her own.  Twice now the poor dog has had to whine and scurry over hardwood floors staring out the window to get the Parakeet to take him outside. She just doesn’t always get this dog thing.

Now on their third day home alone together, they have found cuddling under a blanket in front of tv quite rewarding. It also seems Percy may have found a way to play alone- he runs in circles on the rug growling, ball firmly in his mouth. NO ONE could take it away. 

The Parakeet is not the only one who will be happy to see the Huz return next Sunday.  Percy just is not getting the attention he deserves


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Conan and a glass of cabernet…
Category: Romance and Relationships

will help a girl fall asleep alone


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Exclaimed on the way to the gym…
Category: Automotive


It rained in Chicago tonight, and the Parakeet, against her better judgement, drove to the gym in the 6:00 hour. If you were in the backseat, you may have heard


“no. no, you didn’t”

“oh, come on…”

“just drive, DRIVE, how hard is it??? drive!!!!!”

“you’re killing me, lady…killing me”

“how green does it have to get? seriously.”

“ONE WAY!….ONE friggin WAY!”

“It’s just water, people, water. Would you rather have snow?”

“For theluva….”

“Screw it, I’ll park in the garage.”


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Sweet Relief – Part Two.
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

The Parakeet met with the accountant.  They chatted. He asked questions. He put numbers in his fancy computer programs and out spat — a refund!  Hallelujah.  The Parakeet had enough artistic expenses to report a business income loss for 2005.  Sad, but true. And she’s really okay with it. She’s very okay with a refund.  One that is large enough to pay the accountant, even.  Phew! A big fat Phew…….

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

She can’t find it. She’s looked in her pockets, her other pants, every purse she owns. And this week, living alone, the house is fairly clean, so she’s not thinking it will “turn up” somewhere.  The parakeet can not find the badge that lets her into the building where she works. This building, for reasons related to terrorism, has tight security. The badge takes her through a turnstyle in the lobby and then also into her own office. Not having the badge means having to ring the doorbell and hope that it is not a busy day so the clerk who stays upstairs can let her in.  Otherwise, she will just have to wait for someone to take lunch and visit the office.  For two days now she has had to print out a temporary badge with her picture on it. This at least gets her through the lobby.  If there is anything worse than the original picture on her security badge (looking stoned in a pink sweater set), it is the pictures that come out of the machine that prints temporary badges.  And frankly, worse than temporary badges is the thought of replacing (FOR FIFTY DOLLARS) the stupid original badge. Ugh. If you see it, on the street, on the el, or in your kitchen, give the parakeet a call. ‘Cause while it was cool to find out she was getting a tax refund, she’d hate to spend it on replacing something for work. 


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


The security badge has been found.  It was in the pocket of the black leather jacket.  It’s hardly ever warm enough to wear that jacket, so why check it? Anyway….fifty dollars saved.  Perhaps the Parakeet will buy a new bathing suit.  Hmmmm……


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Category: Romance and Relationships


these are the things the Parakeet would do more if she was single…..

1.  watch independent/romance/foreign films

2.  talk on the phone.

3.  pick up the house

4.  answer e-mails

5.  drink red wine

6.  talk on the phone

7.  throw all clothes, worn or not, on the bed AND sleep with them

8.  eat frozen food

9.  stay up late


10.  talk on the phone.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Airport Adventures – Return of the Huz
Category: Romance and Relationships


Yeah! The Huz has returned from foreign lands. Quite literally. And the pictures are amazing. 

The parakeet traveled to O’Hare during the rain last night to pick up Huz. She was on her cell phone explaining to her friend that she could get a ticket for talking in the car and would have no reasonable explanation if she were pulled over. She was in fact on her cell phone, and there was no emergency.  As she crossed over Bryn Mawr, the rain turned it up a notch and she said good-bye immediately.  It was pretty intense. Of course many flights were delayed and Huz’ was delayed even more than it first appeared, so the Parakeet began the circling.

You know the circling. It happens at every airport. You drive slowly by searching for the one you love, envying those who have sidled up to the curb and get to wait without moving.  You follow the brakelights of the hotel shuttle in front of you, and in this particular case you continue flipping your wipers from intermittent to low as you move out from underneath awnings.  What does not always happen, and only the really annoying take this tactic, is the parking. The parking on ramps, in random left lanes, in huge lines that make one think, as they are driving through a storm, that there is just bad traffic — in the airport?. But that is not the case. The situation is that rather than circle, as is the unspoken airport etiquette, there are those above the rules, who park. Just park.  They are far enough from security guards in their orange ponchos and loud whistles.  They think they are hiding– but there are fifty of them. And when a legitimate accident happens and sirens come squealing towards the terminal, they all can’t move fast enough because they’re parked in a moving lane of traffic!

Yeesh. After manuvering around these yahoos for the third time, the Parakeet was able to slide into a primo spot right across from Continental’s bag claim.  Sweet. She waited long enough to second guess herself and wonder if Huz was, in fact, at the International terminal. His cell phone had died while further south, so they were not in communication.  But after a mere ten minutes, he came sauntering towards the car. She jumped out and opened the hatch so he could load up his suitcase, then jumped into his arms.  You’d have thought eight days was eight weeks, she was so hyped up.  But she is, after all, a parakeet and they don’t do so well alone. She continued to ask hundreds of questions the whole way home in the rain and well after they were in bed. This was definitely a case where the huz had to throw that blanket over her so she’d shut up and sleep.

When you’re married, it sure is nice to be in the same place as your spouse.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Category: Life


The parakeet reached new heights in domesticity this morning.  She heard from a friend who she hadn’t seen in a very long time. (A quick shout out to all from theater at monmouth) This friend moved to Chicago recently and they were able to match schedules up for breakfast. The Parakeet, in an attempt to be thrifty and hospitable, invited her friend to her home for the get-together. She is very busy this week and was thinking about what she could make that would be fun and, frankly, not too messy.  She woke up this morning at about 7:30 (it should be mentioned that while this is a bit early for the Parakeet, the huz had all ready left the house 45 minutes earlier. He will always win the early bird prize.) and quickly got to work on banana bread. That’s right. She had a loaf of banana bread in the oven by ten after eight.  She washed and chopped some strawberries, swept the living room, wiped down the kitchen counter, got dressed, walked the dog, checked her email and whipped up some scrambled eggs by the time her buzzer rang at 9:30.  She brought her friend upstairs to be greeted by the smell of fresh-baked bread. The table was set complete with coordinating placemats and dishes.  Frankly, it was all pretty cute. 

If you had talked to the parakeet, say, five years ago, it would never have occurred to her that she would own coordinating dishes and placemats or that she would be able to have them on the table at this time of morning.  She maybe would have thought about baking bread, but not before noon. It is all just too much. Look what marriage and time will do to you, folks. Look, closely. 

It is worth mentioning that the two of them had lovely conversation and a very pleasant morning. It was extremely sunny today, if not warm, and the view out of the third-floor windows was nice. 

So if you give the Parakeet a bit of notice, she will snap into gear and create a special presentation for you, too. Do not be afraid to ask. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Question Answered
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


All of the turnstyles for the ‘el’ stations downtown have said “Are We Really Free?” for a couple weeks. The Parakeet has often stopped and given them a second glance. Their bold type-face has given her pause, she will admit. She wondered each time she pressed her over-stuffed tote or hip against one to wiggle her way through, not ‘are we really free?’ but what possible ad campaign could use this slogan with no web address attached? If one did wonder whether or not they were free, especially after bumping into your advertising, wouldn’t it make sense to have a place to look for the answer:  www-dot-arewereallyfree even. Today, my friends, that question was answered.  The Museum of Freedom. Exactly. Never heard of it, either. But it will show you, apparently, if you are really free.  Wonder no longer as you push through the turnstyle to begin the day’s rat race who would dare use “Are we Really Free?” as an ad slogan, because as soon as you push that prong of the turnstyle forward, the next one will read “The Freedom Museum”. 

Be sure to fill in the Parakeet if you check it out. She, more than likely, will not. 




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