Friday, April 25, 2008

High Drama among the Geese

You may recall last year when it fell to me to recount the sad tale of Isaiah Hopwood Gooseworthy, "Hoppy" to his friends and admirers (scroll down to May 7, if you wish, but be sure to bring a hankie)...

Well, the geese are back. This year there are two moms incubating eggs in the courtyard: The parents of the unfortunate Hoppy and a new couple (the gander of this pair is hardly ever around...) who have set up nest at a respectable distance. Everyone at work is watching the bucolic scene and waiting for the goslings to hatch.

This morning, though, the courtyard was anything but bucolic. In fact, it was like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Two ganders go in...

Actually, the drama apparently began yesterday when the newer momma goose launched herself off her eggs, neck thrust out like a honking spear, to admonish some goosey interloper. This was duly reported via email throughout the building.

Whatever kind of goose-ish warfare was going on hit its peak early this a.m. I witnessed it as I headed back to my office after procuring my morning caffeine fix from the company cafeteria. This time, Hoppy's parents were the aggressors. The mom was standing over her eggs, neck thrust toward the trespasser, honking loudly. The dad was flying menacingly at the uninvited guest, who was huddled rather pitifully in one corner of the courtyard. Suddenly, the set-upon goose tried to take flight. Alas, the courtyard was not wide enough (or it was just too pooped) for it to get enough lift to fly out of it. It crashed right into a second-floor window and fell to the ground, whereupon both mom and pop Gooseworthy started pecking angrily at its motionless carcass.

I was horrified! I was certain the downed goose had broken its neck and was dead on the ground. It was as I gazed at this awful scene that I became aware of other eyes watching... and I looked up at the roofline to see a number of other geese, evenly spaced along the perimeter of the courtyard, observing the action. Shudder!

It turns out that the gathered geese and I were not the only witnesses to this fowl violence. Just about everyone whose cube or office overlooks the courtyard had front row seats for the action. The altercation and goose/window collision so upset one of the fact checkers that she had to go home, sobbing.

It turns out that the interloper was NOT killed... at least, not outright. Apparently it arose from its stupor to shrug off the peckers and fly, much the worse for wear but this time successfully, out of the courtyard.

Never a dull moment in textbook publishing... trust me on this one!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Been Travelin'

For the last two weekends and then some, we've been visiting the kids. First, we drove down to Normal to spend the weekend with Greg. I finally got to hear him play his drums (he's quite good!), and he showed us what he could do on the guitar we got him for Christmas--he's quite good at that too. He's turned out to be a very musical fellow!

True to our standard Normal M.O., we availed ourselves of the many retail opportunities that abound in that town and in adjacent Bloomington. I ended up bringing home this way cool pair of madras cons:

while Jeff retuned from our foray into the slightly more eclectic downtown Bloomington with this treasure:

a tenor banjo from the 1920s!

Only a few short days after our return from Normal, we flew down to El Paso, rented a car, and drove down to Marfa to visit Rachel and Chase.

We availed ourselves of luncheon by the railroad tracks at the Food Shark truck,

enjoying our cans of Blue Sky pop

while watching a couple of local toddlers playing with some stray tumbleweeds.

We went to the rock and mineral show that was being held at the local Am-Vets hall,

where the theme was fluorescence and where I bought a blue mountain jasper cabochon and Jeff bought a lace agate cabochon.

We went thrift shopping in nearby Alpine, where Chase scored this most excellent styrofoam numeral:

We went to the elaborate and discomfiting installation at Marfa's Ballroom gallery, "Hello Meth Lab in the Sun":

This was only one of a number of rooms into which the large, usually open space had been carved. Among others were a hippie commune kitchen, an Upper East Side drawing room photo gallery, and an incinerated kitchen.

In another local gallery, we took a break from viewing art and hung out with chickens, ducks, dogs, and a cat in the venue's backyard...

We went to an art opening, and we were serenaded by two erstwhile northern Californians, Alex and Anthony, who recently moved to Marfa. They eschew the pedestrian concert circuit and instead come over to their audiences' homes, cook them dinner, and then perform their repertoire for an appreciative few at a time. Very cool.

We watched the sun set and sipped beers from Rachel and Chase's backyard shed under the watchful eye of the border drug blimp. You can see it below--it's the blurry darkish spot to the left of the pole, about halfway up.

Only too soon, the weekend was over and we had to bid farewell yet again to Marfa--I'm sure we'll be back, though, to chill in the high desert!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring at Last!

Crocuses!! Yea!

I know, I know... I've been lax of late vis a vis posting. And this won't be my usual loquacious post either... just no time at present.

But at least we are finally having some spring weather and the flowers to go along with it!



Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Belated April Fool's Day!

Okay... I was going to post this yesterday, but instead I spent the evening vegging in front of the TV, bundled in a comforter, sipping peppermint tea, and wiping my red, raw nose. Yes. Another cold. Damn.

At any rate, yesterday was the biggest holiday of the year for the Young Fools on the Go (and the Old Coots on the Go, and the Cosmic Realities--who really are the only YFOTGs still around).

Oh, what inscrutable antics we got up to!

This is GW (aka the Grim Reaper), me, and Barb (aka rental bridesmaids) at the Sadie Hawkins Dance our Senior year of high school. Do NOT ask me why the Grim Reaper was hanging around the Rent-a-Bridesmaid table... GW? I'm sure you can enlighten us!

Here are Bruce, Cindy, and GW enjoying an evening of ice skating up on the mountain--could any of us actually skate all the way around the rink without holding on to the rail or falling? Such athletes!

And I guess this is as good a time as any to post the much-touted and previously promised photo of our esteemed First YFOTG President, Beth gazing reverentially at (or rather, over) the "Presidential Onyx":

Oh yeah, we had some good times. And we even got our photo in the high school yearbook when we were seniors!

Who wouldn't want to hang out with such a fine, upstanding crowd o' nerds!! (And I mean that with all fondness and pride!)

Oh, and lest I forget--Today is Barb and her husband Charlie's wedding anniversary. I have lost count of the years, but they've been hitched a while! Best wishes, y'all!

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