MySpace Blogs August 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

habitat update
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes


The Huz and the Parakeet checked out an apartment last night. It was in a SUPER location. They saw that it was clean, that it had a place for their dining room table and their computer desk…they said it was good. They immediately filled out applications, ran to the place where the Huz works (only three-four blocks away) and faxed it in. They will find out tomorrow.

Wish them luck!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No Dice
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes


The Parakeet and the Huz will not be moving to Lincoln and Leland. Someone else will. Their application apparently got in faster. Boo.  Other options have presented themselves. They will be all right. They just won’t be at Lincoln and Leland.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Category: Life


The Parakeet left the safe quarters of her air conditioned bedroom because of a phone call. It was from the Huz. He wanted her to run an errand for him. The Parakeet loves errands big and small and was quick to oblige. She didn’t enjoy the steam that greeted her as she left her isolated ice-box, however. The air was thick and the dog was happy to stay alone in their private retreat. It was Tuesday. The temperature was 105 degrees.
She closed the door of the car and turned on the a/c. She called the Huz.
“Do not ride your bike home. Your brains will melt out of your ears. I will bring you the car.”
Her tone was one he understood.  He employed it often.
“Okay. I won’t.”
She pulled out of their neighborhood, and in a few short minutes was at the red light of a six-way intersection. As she pulled forward into the empty space on the invitation of the green light, a woman came into her peripheral vision.  The woman wasn’t small and she wasn’t especially large, but her belly hung low.  Her hair was curly and cut short. But what grabbed the Parakeet’s attention (and nearly everyone around her) was that the woman wore only a bra, underwear, and water shoes. Those shoes that were in fashion during the early teen years and people wore them for tubing in the river and tourists could be seen donning them at the beach. They might have been lime green. 
Yes, that’s it. It was not a bathing suit. It was most definitely a bra and underwear. She had had enough.  She carried a small duffel over her shoulder that more than likely held her former garments.
The Parakeet giggled. It was all she could do. Her shoulders shook from laughing. There was a part of her filled with envy. Inspired. I too will cross the street with you wearing just panties and a brassiere, she thought. 
Yeah, right. And the Parakeet drove on feeling as though all of them at the six points of Elston, Diversey, and Western had shared a common experience; not just the heat wave, but a woman who embraced its reign.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Singing… front of people….for fun?
Category: Friends


Last night, a Monday, the Parakeet had a chance to get together with some friends from the show that closed.  There was an open mic at a bar and some of the cast was ready to sing a bit. The Parakeet was excited for a few reasons; there was no cover, there were $3 well drinks, and her friends would be there. She had never been to an open mic night.
Her tall blonde friend sang with soul and her brunette friend wowed the crowd. They were faboo!
The Parakeet was surprised when an asian man with a guitar decided to give us a little gospel. It was quite pretty, just unexpected. She was a little more surprised when the next man, pushing back his glasses, had to stop and have his notes plucked out three times in the middle of the song to continue. But through this, too, she did not react.  She even held it together while a man named Bob in a smashing yellow t-shirt and faded jeans belted out “The Impossible Dream” without one shred of self-consciousness or acknowledgement of cliche. 
But when a dear, dear man in all earnestness came up and sang “My Heart will go On” by Celine Dion, the bird could no longer hide her reaction. Her face looked to those around her as if she might puke or had smelled something terrible. As soon as this was pointed out to her with much pantomimed hilarity, she quickly sat up and smiled at the man who did have a decent voice. It’s just that…well, Celine Dion?! Titanic Theme Song?!
The Parakeet has never been able to hide her feelings. She reacted to bad scenes all through college with looks that were just plain mean. She just realizes it too late. Apologies to the dear Celine Dion man may be in order. Or hopefully, he was lost in his own sweet melody imagining Leonardo reaching to him to be pulled from the icy waters. 

Friday, August 11, 2006

true story
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers


The Parakeet has had a long but quick week, meaning it’s gone quickly, but she’s tired because it has been busy.  Rehearsals are picking up and moving forward and the bird’s been spending some home time preparing.  And work: well, it still starts at 7:30.  The Parakeet resisted in a serious way when the alarm went off this morning.  Rehearsal was real fun last night; she was keyed up and it took her a while to fall asleep.  Sooo…this morning she drank the coffee like nobody’s business.

Sometimes close friends of the Parakeet ask her if she is silly at work. Read: Does she act like herself? Reminder: The Parakeet works for stock traders.  The answer is not usually. She is usually fairly professional and quiet with the occasional outburst due to the nature of the traders themselves; like a gasp over some obscenity, racial or sexual comment.

BUT this morning, in all of her innate Hoyer hilarity, the Parakeet told the clerks and traders as they arrived at the office that today was “Wellington: The Musical” day.  Anyone who spoke to the Parakeet must do it in song. A few of the men actually obliged. 

Imagine: The Parakeet turns to trader, his feet propped up, his head in the morning paper and sings with a Sondheim-esque melody “Bob, do you know a hundred lot Aug 12-half, 1265 put spread?…do you, Bob?”
And he looks up from his paper and SINGS, “Yes, I do. It’s a weekly and a three-thousand dollar loser”. Quickly, she intones back,”Thank you, Bob.”  He didn’t call her Parakeet but you get the idea. 

It might be over after today. They may decide she’s gone too artsy-crazy or they make take away her coffee or they may start rumors of coke. All of these are equally plausible in her office.

Until nexttime –Sing your way through Friday.


Monday, August 14, 2006

chump change for the better
Category: Life


Funny thing about the Parakeet: She makes speeches all the time, brags really about how she is not a morning person. Her husband, mother, siblings they all chime in.
“The Parakeet’s grouchy in the morning.”
“She sits and stares.”
“She doesn’t know what’s going on for two hours after she gets up.”
All of these things may be true and more so on certain mornings, surely.

When the Parakeet was in highschool, she was ‘initiated’ into a Thespian Troupe (Florida’s Drama Club Highscool network competitive thing). It was taken very seriously. For a week, she had to show up to school early wearing a ‘shield’ and speak to no one unless spoken to. School started at 7:25, so imagine when the initiates had to be there.
The Parakeet’s mother will still laugh herself to tears to this day re-telling the day the bird woke up late during “Hell” week. She impersonates the Parakeet jumping out of bed, running to her brother’s room, running to her father’s room, “We have to leave. We have to leave now!”
She threw on her shield quickly, and according to her mother, quite literally turned in circles with no sense of her hilarity. Her brother and mother laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of the girl. Her shield flying, her hair uncombed. She couldn’t really be ready for school? But she was and she meant business; out the door in less than five minutes. Initiation week was nothing to laugh about.

So, in Chicago, it seemed the Parakeet had found the PERFECT job. Noon to Four. The morning was hers to do with as she would. Waking slowly, talking on the phone, checking e-mail. Maybe work-out? Run errands? The funny thing about the Parakeet’s aversion to mornings is that that’s not what she’s averse to. What she can’t handle is waking up. She doesn’t really care to sleep in. It’s just hard to get up in the first place, whatever the time.
For the past month (or a little more) the Parakeet’s hours have become 7:30 to 12:30ish. Surprisingly, the Keet is doing quite well. There are mornings that she channels her scared teenager self, jolting awake with fifteen minutes to spare, screaming an obscenity as she throws a banana in her purse and uses sunglasses as makeup.  She hasn’t been late yet AND the stranger thing, still; her afternoons are glorious. Clearly more productive when awake for five hours, her free time has become enjoyable, not a belabored three-hour way to get ready for work. She does run errands and go to the gym. She answers e-mails and prepares for rehearsal and she could, really, even take a nap.
No one is more surprised than the Parakeet at the turn of events. But she is appreciative. It makes sense, really. Why not spend the part of the day you deal with the worst doing the things you like the least? working.

So the Parakeet has relegated math and dealing with tough personalities to the pre-noon hours. Those are when she is most incoherent anyway.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nature’s Wonders
Category: Travel and Places

The Huz and the Parakeet were fortunate enough to be able to get away last weekend. They drove 300 miles or so North to Door County, WI.  They didn’t leave until nearly 7:00 on Friday, so they got in after midnight.  It was extremely dark and the towns in the Penninsula are small. They drove slowly watching for street signs and a gas station that might be open.  The Huz was real thirsty.  With no major problems, they drove down hills, toward the water and right into the parking lot of the condominium complex.  They were both so excited to be out of the city.
The following evening the Perseid Meteor Shower was suppose to be visible. The Huz and the Parakeet were sure that if it could be seen anywhere, Door County would be dark enough. After the Huz grilled a fabulous meal, they walked along the Harbor. As the stars came out brighter and brighter after dusk, they lay down on the rocks to scout out the shower.
It took a while, and it was surprisingly cool so far north next to the water, but soon ‘stars’ shot across the sky.  The Parakeet had never seen anything like this. She was excited and in awe. It all felt miraculous and terribly romantic.  They must have seen seven or eight before they walked back inside.  Amazing, indeed. 
On Sunday, they visited Penninsula State Park and hiked a three-mile trail through the woods. On their trek, they saw deer, chipmunks, and a couple different types of woodpeckers. At the turn-around, they were able to stand on a bluff and view the islands that dotted the harbor miles away. It was clear enough to see Michigan’s penninsula as well.  The doe was not afraid and watched the Parakeet and the Huz for some time before walking away.  The woodpeckers were more skittish, but the largest one was breathtaking with his bright red head. 
Nature can be so invigorating. The Huz and the Parakeet made plans walking through the North Woods, excited all over again about their National Park dreams.  They have no desire to leave the city. Chicago is a great place to live, but it is nice to vacation closer to wilderness.



Friday, August 18, 2006

Arrggh…that darn dog!
Category: Pets and Animals


The Parakeet is sleeping alone this week. The Huz is in some small town in Illinois fixing the fly system at one of their high schools.
Percy, their feisty but adorable Jack Russell sleeps in a basket/bed in the same bedroom as the bird and her Huz. This week it has been no different. They both settled in around midnight last night and it seemed it would be an uneventful evening. Exactly what the Parakeet needed as the whole week seemed to be catching up with her. She essentially passed out.
At about 3:30 in the morning, her dream collided with reality through a terrible scratching sound. It took her a few moments to wake up and recognize the sound.
“Percy?” she whispered. She could tell even in the dark that he was not in his bed. As she called his name, the scratching intensified.  Where was he? She bent down, and sure enough, Percy was stuck under the bed. He had wedged himself underneath the bed back in the corner.  There was no way she could reach him. She called his name again and he just began his pitiful wiggling/scratching. His nails sound so annyoing on the hard-wood floor.
She tried to lift up the mattress so he could get out. It did no good. The frame is what caught him. She lifted the corner, but he was so far back that didn’t help either.
It should be mentioned that the Russells have a king size bed and that their bedroom is so small that it nearly touches wall on three sides. 
The Parakeet did not want to have to wake the Huz up with a phone call at 3:30 in the morning asking how to get the dog out from under the bed. What could he really do about it after all?
She moved to the center of the bed.  She got into a squat position, her purple nighty sliding up her thighs. This was nothing if not graceful.  She hooked both hands under the bed frame, tried to put all her weight in her quads and lifted the whole bed up.  She had the frame under her chin and was calling “Percy..come on, Percy.”  He skittered out and she set the bed down again.  Her neck and shoulder muscles were strained. What a wuss.  The dog, who had no idea, what panic or fear he had given her climbed into his bed. Thank goodness.
As the Parakeet tried to fall back asleep, she listened to Percy’s nails on the floor again. He was exploring. No Way. No one is going  under the bed again.
“Percy, Go to Bed.”
“Lay Down”
There is silence. Then, there is the shifting of the basket. Then, there is the clicking of nails on the hard-wood floor. Again.
The Parakeet threw back her covers and jumped out of bed.
Percy, startled, hopped back into his bed.  She shoved his whole bed out into the kitchen and shut her door. He will sleep alone, she thought. And she curled up hoping to get another two hours of sleep before the alarm went off.
Much too soon, she woke up and opened the door to the kitchen. Percy lay innocently in his bed next to the stove and a pile of his s*!t lay defiantly next to the counter. 
Someone was upset and trying to prove a point.
The Parakeet calmly explained to the dog in an even tone that this was not a mature way to handle the situation. What if she pooped on something every time someone upset her? That wouldn’t work, would it?
She did nothing of the sort, actually. She cleaned up the mess and made him stay in his bed until she left for work. It’s hard to feel like the “boss” after cleaning up dog doo.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In a Tin Lizzie or maybe just a Tizzy.
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

The Parakeet, as most of you know, is performing new duties at The Job. It’s been nearly two months and she wishes it was going smoother. It seems like she’s teaching herself most days. There are software programs with daily routines except for those minor exceptions when such-and-such happens. Which feels like every day. There are so many numbers. So many numbers for a girl with a B.F.A. in Acting.
It’s going to not be okay very soon if she can’t operate independently and it’s starting to scare her. She feels alone with the numbers and her inadequate understanding of what it means to make markets on the indexes of the stock market. 
Yesterday morning and today were bears with a particular growl and she banged loudly on the desk scaring co-workers when somehow she exited a program without saving and deleted formulas from important excel cells.
Some days it’s too much.
The Huz is in Arizona and he called her at 8:15 her time to see how she was doing. They couldn’t connect last night. She didn’t say much because she knew that talking would awaken the tears choked up in her throat. And there can most definitely be none of that in this office. Calm in the face of other’s distress, the Huz told her to take deep breaths and try not to worry. It will all be all right.  The Parakeet knows that she should heed his advice and she felt his care and concern. 
She settled the program for today with an unbalance. She went downstairs two floors and got a cup of coffee. She decided to move on.  What can she do? Who understands this shit, really?
The stomach is still a little fluttery and tension resides in the throat but each sip of columbian brew is slowing her down a bit.
Deep breaths, little bird, it will all be all right.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

if you could a’ seen…
Category: Life


The Parakeet rolled over and the clock said 6:44. Hmm…one minute before she needed to leave the house.  She stood up, went to the bathroom, peed and came back to the bedroom to get dressed. Somehow the clock then said 6:49.  What? How did it take five minutes to pee? Can we get a little urgency here, ‘Keet? 
She threw on black pants, a tank top and some flops. Oops, we’re going to work. She threw a blazer on over the whole thing, brushed her teeth and left.  The dog would have to wait. Sadly, the hair too would have to wait. She realized on her way to the el that it was in the same knotty ponytail she went to bed with.  Ugh. Good thing she doesn’t get paid to look good.  Apparently this is how everyone’s morning was going, because no one else showed up to the office until twenty minutes after her. She took the phone call from the clearing firm asking why they had so much risk on today. She chose the honest answer, “I don’t know. I’ll call you back when someone else comes to work.”
And with that beginning it was one of those summer days in an office. No body wanted to work today. The Parakeet may not have really woken up until cup of coffee number two at 9:30, but she felt no pressure either. And that was Nice.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

TiVo Experiment
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


So, the Huz bought a Tivo. The Parakeet didn’t argue much because it was not expensive and she just didn’t want to have to make the phone calls, set it up, etc. She is often the logistics manager not only of her office, but also her home and she did not want to add a TV recorder to the list of responsibilities.
Well, after a few minor setbacks, the Huz has Tivo installed and ready for action.
The Parakeet’s parents are very into a reality show on NBC called Treasure Hunters. She has listened to their excitement and enthusiasm for a few weeks, so she selects that program to record on Monday night.
Yesterday, over lunch (that is the beauty of Tivo, friends) the Parakeet watched the episode. It was quite suspenseful and fun as those competition shows go and she really did wonder, “Who will get the treasure?”
Throughout the episode a teaser kept running across the bottom of the screen, “Finale Live at 8”. It wasn’t until the episode finished with the words “To Be Continued” that the Parakeet realized what happened. The finale to the show played on Monday night and she did NOT record it. She will never know if the Air Force team was able to surpass the Geniuses or if the Southie boys even found their way into the secret chamber at all. 
Too Funny. It may have been 42 minutes truly wasted.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Category: Life


Some observations the Parakeet has made this week:

1. Whenever she loses weight, she has been eating a lot of tuna. It’s a great lean protein.

2. There is usually time for a nap.

3.  A Quick, “Sorry, I …whatever” is much better than arguing any any point. seriously. especially to a boss.

4.  Perhaps she is deaf. She seems to turn the alarm off without memory of the event.

5.  Cutting around people on the right to then pull back in front of them a block later because cars have parked on that side of the street is not necessarily rude, as much as it is just moving forward.

6. Many people who work out at Bally’s have probably been on a reality show.

7. It was probably Fear Factor

8. They probably wore bikinis.

9.  Percy will always need someone to walk him. He will never walk or feed the Parakeet.

10. Old Friends are often the best.


Monday, August 28, 2006

not-so customer service
Category: Life


The Parakeet and the Huz have both worked customer service jobs. The Huz even answered phones for a cell phone company, so he has really “been there”.  It’s very people-oriented and it can really try your patience. Any one in a restaurant understands this.  But knowing what is required and expected of a service-oriented position, the two of them have been known to question (as if they were forty years older than they really are) what has happened to customer service?

Where are the good old days when a phone call about your bill actually helped explain the situation and got you a bit of credit on next month’s bill?  When did you start needing three receipts to return something only to get store credit? When did customer service reps start acting like you were stupid for having a question?

Well….yesterday was a very long day for the Parakeet. Especially for a  Sunday. She got up early for church with the Huz, had rehearsal, had some mis-communication with the Huz that resulted in bike rides, el rides, and car rides, and then had another meeting at 6PM, after which she went to the store to get food for the week. She made it back home a little more than twelve hours after she left just a tad grumpy.  But nothing a little cabernet and Tivo couldn’t handle. 

Anyway, she stopped at Target around 8:50 to finish the last of her errands. Unaware that they closed at 9 on Sunday as opposed to 10, an announcement came over the loud speaker while she was trying to track down cotton balls, “Target Customers: The time is now 9:00. The Target store is now closed. Please proceed to the regsiters with your items. As a reminder store hours are, yada yada yada”.  The Parakeet is a very “do what you’re told, by the rules” kind of girl. She felt bad being at the store as it closed and raced to grab a couple more things as lights turned out and headed to the front of the store.

She was surprised to see that many other customers were still in the store. She was not the only one. And others were much more casually ‘shopping’. There were five or so lanes open and one or two people waiting at each one. Didn’t they hear? The store is closed.  Another announcement came one “Target Customers, the time is now 9:10…”

The woman in front of the Parakeet was arguing with the checker that her shampoo had been rung up twice. Finally, she finished. The Parakeet checked out and as she was signing her credit card slip, the woman behind her threw a receipt and a box of eye drops into the checker’s face, “Can I return this here? Guest Services looks closed”. The checker dealt with her very politely, especially considering the circumstances.

As the Parakeet walked her bag of goodies out the door, she watched a couple arguing with the next cashier over about the price of  stainless steel trash can. Is this really happening? Is every customer who already is in the store after it is closed arguing about prices?

The Huz and Keet may have spoke too soon. Customer Service people are being pushed too far. Everyone is afraid of getting taken and is sure the rules don’t apply to them. It has got to get old gently reminding customer after customer that ‘the price is the price and closing time is closing time’.  yeesh.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

will she recover?
Category: Fashion, Style, Shopping


The Parakeet, in a moment of launderial crisis, had to wear “Thursday” panties yesterday….on Monday! This is not the kind of thing she deals with well.  Out of order. Must control situation. Aaaahhhh.

The Huz did four loads of laundry. Thank God.


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes


The Parakeet and the Huz moved to Chicago together three months after getting married. They lived with the ‘keet’s parents for those 90 days to save up some dough. It was a great plan. They didn’t have much furniture (read: any).  They took some bookcases from her parents and bought a mattress from someone who had an ad in the paper. The Parakeet, much to the dismay of the Huz, picked up a crappy table and four chairs from a thrift store for $20.  He worked hard on that table to try to make it not so crappy and the Parakeet re-covered the chairs with the help of her sister. Even so, it lasted a year at most.

They loaded up a U-Haul and headed to Chicago from FL in January.  They started by driving to Texas. They met the Huz’ family, picked up the dog (who couldn’t stay in Lake Mary, FL) and some more furniture; a small dresser, bedside table, two chairs, and an antique hall tree.  They continued north to Missouri where they stayed with the Parakeet’s grandmother. In Missouri, they picked up a couch from her aunt. The truck was finally full and the Russell’s were ready to fill an apartment. Now they just needed jobs.

So nearly four years into their marriage, the Huz and the ‘Keet have begun to replace some of the family’s charity. Which they have been so grateful for this whole time. Though some of it they wouldn’t part with for any reason.  They bought a dining room table and a entertainment center two years ago.  IKEA has served them well for the most part.

But NOW they have been able to purchase a sofa. Not just a sofa; a brown, leather, sleeper sofa. They are so excited! Thank you Roy’s Furniture in Lincoln Park. They ordered it at the end of July and it was going to be 6-8 weeks for delivery.  The Huz continued to joke with the Parakeet day after day, “Did our couch come? Is our couch here?”

For some reason, and I know some of you feel the same way, it seems momentous to buy a couch.  Like they are ‘movin’ on up’. Have accomplished something. The couch has arrived. They will schedule delivery to their new place ( so they won’t get to enjoy it until Oct 1), but still —How exciting! Eventually, you will all be invited over for a sit. And you out-of-towners can use the bed part. Hmm?

Oh, the milestones by which we mark time.




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