Monday, October 18, 2010

california hitchcock

One of the great things about living in the suburbs of California is that I can have an entire house with lots of windows, where every room is directly under the roof, with lots of skylights to let in the Californian sun or to let me hear the winter rains.

The downside is that something about this roof seems to attract a flock of birds, whose main traits are that they are loud, unintelligent, and enjoy early mornings.

They gather on the roof of my house at 7 or 8 in the morning, sometimes two or three at a time, but sometimes (like this morning) in a flock of ten or twenty. They thud onto the roof, hop around, squawk loudly at each other, and then proceed to peck viciously at anything and nothing. In this picture, you can see three of them pecking at a rather nondescript piece of wood. Others were frantically tapping on shingles or panes of glass. On another occasion, two of them squabbled loudly over a Bic lighter that they had found and somehow managed to drop onto the roof.

Waving at them in a threatening manner does nothing. Tapping back at them with a pole does nothing. Holding my dog up so that they can see him through the glass (in case he's more frightening than I am) does nothing. They continue scrabbling, jumping, cawing, and tapping until, on some unknown cue about ten or fifteen minutes later, they all take off and go elsewhere.

It's like the Hitchcock flick, except that the birds just try to annoy you to death. I've never seen such dumb birds before, and I don't know if it's because I haven't met many birds, or if it's because Californian birds are just like that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

jet blues

We flew out to New York for a wedding last weekend, and because it was a short trip with a lot of travel time, we decided to fly JetBlue (which was already more expensive than the other airlines), since they have an option to pay extra for roomier seats, which we thought would help us deal with the red eye on the way there, and the early morning flight to get right back to work on the way back. More money = more space = more sleep, right? I wasn't completely convinced, but my boyfriend was quite firm that it would be worth an extra $200 per person.

It may have been worth it for my boyfriend, but on our flight from JFK back to SFO (which is an hour longer than the flight from SFO to JFK, if I may just point that out), I was seated next to a supremely obese man who took up four inches of my expensive seat, and I spent every minute of those six hours fuming about those four inches and that extra $200.

Mr. Too-Big-to-Fit-in-Seat-5E on the Monday morning JetBlue flight from JFK to SFO, you owe me $200 and six hours of sleep. Also, you owe me a mind wipe to get the feeling of you squishing and rubbing on me for six hours out of my head.