Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby Birds and Beer

baby robins
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Last night after work I went over to Annie's with the laudable intention of just sitting around for a bit having one civilized beer and then going on home to be all quiet and peaceful with the dogs, inasmuch as quiet and peaceful are words that can be applied to my dogs, which is to say, not much. Well, roads that are paved and so on.

It started off innocently enough, with Annie and I discovering that the champagne in the fridge was still bubbly, which we are attributing to the silver spoon stuck in the bottle. Now, the silver wasn't even touching the champagne, so I am at a scientific loss as to how this works but, indubitably, the champagne from 10 days ago was still bubbly. Then she showed me some pictures and stuff she had dug up, which, because she is the Queen of Bohemia, included a postcard she got from Delmore Schwartz and the cover of the Antioch literary magazine from Fall 1948 with one of her paintings on the cover. She said she wanted Susan to come by, since Susan has turned into her painting titling muse, so I duly called Susan and then we wandered about the garden for a little bit looking at and talking plants.

Then my brother showed up on his motorcycle and then Susan came by and we all settled in on the porch and I proceeded to drink too much beer for a worknight. I know, predictable, right? We had a lot of fun, much to the initial consternation of the robin family who have built a nest in the inside corner of Annie's porch. Every time you go up to her front door this crazed attack robin squawks and flies at your head before veering off to verbally abuse you from a handy branch nearby. It's unnerving but entertaining as hell - if it was my house, I'd wait by the window all day, hoping for unsuspecting Jehovah's Witnesses and magazine sellers. Anyway, I took this picture of one of the three baby robins in the nest waiting for his/her parent to return with worms. Which they eventually did, despite the humans and it was cool to watch them feed their apparently starving offspring.

I really need to get a tape recorder and start taping some of Annie's stories. They're amazing and I can never remember them the next day. There was a fantastic story about my mother and a diamond ring and a box of arrowheads and a variety of other treasures that had been squirreled away by my great grandfather. I'd never heard that one before. And, according to Annie, the diamond ring in question, along with a stash of other jewels, were brought to America by some French aristocrat fleeing the revolution who then, no doubt pining for Versailles in the wilds of Iowa, became an ancestor of ours. "You know how there's a touch of French in the family?" said Annie, "Yeah," I said, "Well," said Annie, "That's the touch."

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