12 September 2005

mother's day out

ever since i brought him home, i've tried to give pippin as much time out of his cage as possible. he usually has a little over an hour before i leave for work in the morning and around four hours in the evening. on the weekends, as long i was in the house, he was out of his cage and on my shoulder. i got to where i could vacuum with him riding up there. one thing i couldn't do with his "assistance" was work on anything crafty. so after three years, i'm finally carving out time for myself on saturday and sunday. i've given myself permission to park him in his cage with his tape of PBS kid shows. when we go into his room and i turn the tape on with sesame street, he starts asking, "birdie go? birdie go bed?" that's his all purpose expression for going into his cage and what he always says when i leave for work. i tell him that i have work to do. then he tells me, "bye bye! be good be good boy!" and settles down on his perch to whistle and chatter at the television. he's learning the theme song to "caillou," one of the animated shows. i think it's always harder on the moms than it is on the kids...

31 August 2005

what's in a name...

pippin was not named in a frenzy of tolkienmania. pippin is actually a corruption of "pepin," a recurring name in the family tree of charlemagne. (unregenerate history nut here) i love names. i have a thing for names. i even "collect" unusual surnames: stonecipher, turnipseed, winterbottom, sneath, willgoose, mumby, thurlby. i'm also fond of surnames derived from occupations, particularly not-so-obvious ones: fletcher, cooper, cartwright, wainwright. my first name (not quite ready to disclose it yet!) was very unusual when i was a child back in the 50's and 60's. i loved it. it made me feel special. i was in college before i ever met another person with my name. so i had fun coming up with pippin's name.

27 August 2005

my beautiful pip Posted by Picasa

to sleep, perchance to dream

does pippin dream? the brain, the mind is a wondrous thing. last night, one of the players in my dream was a woman i haven't thought about, much less seen, in twenty years. twenty years! she wasn't even someone i really knew - just a customer of mine when i was a bank teller way back when, albeit one of whom i was particularly fond. where did that beam in from?

i can usually remember my dreams when i first wake up. for years, i never dreamt about the people close to me - my family, my friends. the closest i came to that was dreaming about some musician or actor
with whom i was familiar . then slowly, over the past ten years or so, friends and family have started to show up. after my parents died in 93/94, they started to show up a lot. classic unfinished business, i guess.

on the subject of the wonders of the brain, i'm fascinated by the extent to which it can multitask. i was driving along in my car one day, and suddenly it hit me - i was driving, singing along with a cd and thinking about something else, all at the same time. whew!

26 August 2005

birdie go!

pippin was three months old when i brought him home. when he was only little (as a friend's little girl used to say), he fought going to bed just like any toddler, complete with his own arsenal of delaying tactics. i halfway expected to hear, "mom!! i need a drink of water!" after i closed his door each night. (yes, he has his own room. it used to be the guest room. oh, well.) now that he's older, he often lets ME know when it's time for him to go to bed. he'll pipe up with "birdie go bed!" (or his shorthand version "birdie go!") or "byenight!" -- usually just before his usual bedtime of 10 pm. after i put him in his cage, just before i pull the cover down over it, we have to have our byenight kisses. (he's VERY good at giving kisses, complete with sound effects.) he hangs on the door of this cage, sticks his beak up to the bars and i give him kisses on his beak. after each one, he coyly pulls away and moves to a different spot for more kisses. finally, i say,"byenight! i love you!" -- and i absolutely do.

25 August 2005

here i am...

my first tentative steps in the blogosphere. i'd like to share my experience of life with my wordybird - my soulmate pippin, my beautiful 3 year old african grey parrot. for anyone who's read philip pullman's his dark materials trilogy, you'll know what i mean when i say that pippin is my daemon. he has radically changed my feelings about sentience in beings other than humans. he's very young in parrot terms - he will certainly outlive me and could reach 40 or 50 - and his vocabulary is constantly expanding. he recombines words and phrases he has learned and uses them in context. it's pretty amazing.

i'm sure the rest of my day to day life will sneak in here as well. i usually feel like i'm stumbling around in a country where no one speaks my language, but i've found many kindred spirits here in blogdom.

wish me well!