Monthly Archives: April 2004

None Taken

     I hate this time of year. The air just feels heavy. Put yourself in a crowded, confined space with little to no air conditioning, like a shuttle bus, and the air turns into lead. There aren’t any seats left, so I’m standing, holding the umbrella that I thought I would need 10 minutes ago. Only now, there isn’t a single drop of water coming out of the sky.
     There’s a group of guys talking about roommate problems just next to me. There’s a lot of chatter, but it’s mostly background noise. I’m too busy trying to figure out how I’m going to get my iPod out of my backpack and plug in my headphones. It’s going to be next to impossible. The bus driver is being unusually delicate today, tapping the brakes every 50 feet. Today was a long day, and I’m only thinking about getting home and getting out of my work clothes. Maybe a shower.
     Then the guy to my immediate right says, “I mean, I don’t have to put up with that Asian shit.”
     My head turns of its own accord. It is a complete knee-jerk reaction. It’s not like I was listening for it. But bam, “Asian shit,” and my head turns almost completely around.
     He notices that I notice, and he audibly backpedals.
     “I mean, it’s a cultural thing. Y’know, with emotions being bottled up. Me, I like to talk.”
     I noticed.
     He turns to me, “No offense.”
     I say nothing and look out the double doors. Now I’m being paranoid. Maybe he believes that I don’t speak English. I think about the stupid things that people assume about other people.
     He quickly changes topics from his roommate to the Marlins, and how they’re going to go all the way this year.
     I listen. People say some pretty stupid things. The bus seems to take its sweet time as we approach the final stop. My door opens.
     His group stands up. There’s four of them, and they’re all about a foot taller than me.
     I get off of the bus and turn around just as he steps off.
     We’re facing each other, and he’s got a confused look on his face. I wonder what mine looks like. I was hoping for amicable, but I probably pulled off bemused. For a second, he looks almost afraid.
     “Just offhand,” I offer. “You might want to look around before you attach a personal trait to an entire race. No offense.” *
     “Hey, I was just talking about my roommate, I didn’t mean–“
     I’ve already turned around. I didn’t want an apology. I only wanted him to think about it.
     On the way home, I never did manage to plug my earphones in.

* Yeah, I know it doesn’t make sense. But it sounded cool at the time. Sure, I could have said something along the lines of, “You might not want to attach a personal trait to an entire race, it just seems like some asshole shit–no offense.” But really, what would that have accomplished?

Therapy! Therapy, Will Robinson!

Japan uses robots as therapy. This news, will of course, be overshadowed this summer by humanoid robots that climb like spiders, and try to kill Will Smith.

This somewhat reminded me of a New Outer Limits episode where the Last Man on Earth survives the apocalypse by retreating into a bomb shelter. The bomb shelter, of course, looks like a ranch home. In order to avoid dementia, the man has a holographic interfact that represents his computer. The interface is played, of course, by Natasha Henstridge, aka, “The Chick from Species.”

Not to spoil it, but in true Outer Limits fasion, the computer goes insane and the usual hilarity ensues.

It seems she hangs

These shower curtains make me wish that I had a shower that needed shower curtains.

A not so tiny, canary shaped hole

My mother called me just now.

Our canary died this morning. Granted, I didn’t see him for the last 6 years, but I remember when he came into my family’s life.

I recall getting ready to sit down at the dining table when there was a sound from the kitchen. Something had run into our screen door with a large thud. My mother opened the screen door and a yellow canary flew into our house. It perched at the top of one of our bookshelves and started chirping in a somewhat agitated manner.

It flew around the house for a few hours, from perch to perch, before finally deciding that the corner bookcase was where it would like to stay. We kept our bedroom doors closed for a couple of weeks, and the canary had full rein of the house. We left food and water out for it, and it left little reminders out for us. We were cleaning quite a bit, and my mother was exasperated that it couldn’t just find one place, “to go poo.” We always knew where it was, as it was most definitely a songbird. Sometimes, it sounded impatient, but most of the time, it sounded like it was just happy to be where it was.

We put up some posters and talked to our neighbors about the canary. Two weeks passed.

When no owners appeared, I had to fashion a rudimentary trap composed of some string and a clothes hamper. After we managed to get it in a cage, we brought it to a vet and made sure it was healthy. He (we found out) passed with a clean bill of health, and we decided to keep him.

I named him “Windfall,” and he became a member of the family. We’d leave the radio on for him to chirp at, and he’d always sing more whenever one of us was in the room. He was cute.

He had been sick the last few months, and visits to the vet and the medication were only doing so much. This morning, my mother found that he had passed at some point in the night.

Since he was already singing when he decided to enter our house, that means he was at least a year old. I’d place him as around 7 or 8 years of age. Canaries can live up to 10 years.

I feel bad that he’s gone, and my parents grew quite attached to him after my brother and I left the house–but I’m glad that my parents were there to enjoy his company and his song for the last 6 years.

Just in case you missed it

There’s an album you should be aware of.

Also, Shaolin Soccer got released. So if you’re one of the 3 cities that’s playing it, (it’s limited release, but I couldn’t find where) I suggest you go see it, even though it’s dubbed and they’ve edited the hell out of it. Or, you could just watch the trailer, since they give everything away. Everything.