Never Happy

LOL! What a wonderful ending. He got what he wished for--in spades. I love stories like that, especially the true ones.

Posted by Bill at May 26, 2005 7:48 AM

Is this in any way related to Lileks' weather blues this morning?

Posted by Uncle Mikey at May 26, 2005 8:56 AM

Not that I know of. I haven't been to Lileks yet, but on my way.

Posted by Gerard Van Der Leun at May 26, 2005 9:03 AM

You will be happy to know it is still "Winter" here in NYC, the "Road Work" season has yet to begin. In some places, the wind chill yesterday was in the high 30's.

Posted by tk at May 26, 2005 12:59 PM

My Mother tells of the time when I was 3 and those *&^%$#@ BIRDS were making so much noise ...
I stuck my little head out the window and screamed exactly that ... 'SHUT UP'!!!

Posted by Steel Turman at May 26, 2005 3:49 PM

When we lived next to the zoo in DC, we were next to a cage full of large birds who mated every night and gave birth hourly to wet cats, or so it sounded. I was happy to leave for quiet peaceful Minneapolis - only to discover there was a nest of birds outside the window who regarded the dawn as a signal to count to 1000. They have their uses and their place, but outside the window at dawn is not one of them. Unless you have to rise early for a good reason, like escaping the advancing Nazis.

Posted by Lileks at May 26, 2005 7:19 PM

That shrill symphony might have been the birds' revenge for last night's combo of snoring AND leaving his bedroom window open. Sure it was sleep he was "wiping from his sad eyes"? Even early in the morning, birds are guano sharpshooters. As you pointed out with Hitchcock, never ever tick off a bird.

Posted by DarkoV at May 27, 2005 7:31 AM

As someone who was born and raised in Louisiana, where the seasons are "It's Sixty, Fire up the Fire Place," "Hot," "Hot & Moist" and "Hot & Wet & PLEASE, GOD, SEND ME TO HELL BECAUSE IT'S GOT TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE THAN THIS," it's always grated on me how wimpy New Yorkers are about the weather. Granted, New York summers can be absolutely brutal, but I find that New Yorkers whine about EVERY season. I say it's perfectly acceptable to hate one season, but in my office, the same people who were whining about the cold a month ago, will be crying about the heat a month from now. Wanh-wanh-wanh.

Posted by ken at May 27, 2005 8:03 AM

Wimps, one & all...

I'm 30 miles from New York City right now, and it's 71 degrees & bright sunshine out my window. As for the birds, my window has a new, high-tech anti-birdsong device. I think it's called "glass."


Posted by Brian Greenberg at May 27, 2005 9:19 AM

Ah yes! The birds of Washington, DC...I live not far from the Zoo, but thankfully far enough to not hear what Mr. Lileks heard...On 32d Street, NW I park under tree in front of my house...this tree, unknown to me when I bought here, is the dysentary ward for the Giant Condors... it is where they come to treated and recover when they have developed the many and varied maladies that causse them to crap ten times thier body weight in any given hour...(I wont even address the concerts that the well birds put on for the sick ones)
Now, this tree is really more of a "treeling" isnt more than a few years adds a nice artistic quality to my house...but even at a mere twelve feet it is quite sufficient to support dozens of feathered shi* machines...

Today I called my yard crew...the tree, some how damaged by an infection, is coming down...NOTHING is going up in its place...the bird hospital will have to move to a meighbors tree...

Posted by C.K. Dexter-Haven at May 27, 2005 3:05 PM

In Oregon we have two seasons as well, rain and not rain. We are starting to have a third, traffic. All the Oregon natives blame it on a front from the south that has moved unusually far north.
"You mean, like, El Nino?" I ask.

"No, Californians." they reply.

Posted by dennymack at May 27, 2005 3:39 PM

In Southern California, we have noted one continuous long season, since just before the Los Angeles Aqueduct was put in (think 20 years prior to the setting of "Chinatown" - movie with Jack Nicholson). My family calls this season "a world of shit." The Oregon poster has a hint of what is coming - now mulitiply it by a factor of one thousand. I pray for more natural disasters here - not because nature is so great, but to cull the herd of some of the sheep who moved here to bleat, bleat, bleat.

Next, who is not up at dawn? (Gee, it is surprising that we are said to be, collectively, the fattest, laziest worthless bastards worldwide)

Problem with nature? Dress up like a housecat and sleep outside - the coyotes will
take care of you.

Complain, complain, complain - meow, meow, meow.

Posted by Californio at May 27, 2005 5:42 PM

We live on a very busy road. So busy, we don't like to leave the windows open during the day, beause the traffic is so loud. At 5 am though, it's relatively quiet, and we get woken up each morning with the singing of our resident cardinal, the wap wap wap of the downy woodpecker, and the catbird calling, Jerry! Jerry! . I'm hoping for a steep increase in gasoline prices, to thin out the traffic a bit, so I can listen to the birds a little more during the day, after the morning brain fog has burned off.

Posted by JM at May 29, 2005 4:12 PM

Two seasons here in New England: winter and the Fourth of July.

And I believe "The Birds" (the movie, that is) was set in New England, also. It figures. Although, as I recall, the original was a Daphne Du Maurier story that was set somewhere in England (old, not New). I read it as a child and it scared the heebie jeebies out of me--far scarier than the movie because of the element of imagination.

Posted by neo-neocon at May 29, 2005 6:32 PM

Oops--apparently the film took place in California. That's what I get for relying on my decades-old memory.

Posted by neo-neocon at May 30, 2005 11:25 AM

What you've missed in this is the one common thread that is in fact your warning of impending banality: Starbuck's commuter cup. When you see one coming, it's time to go to a meeting. Run. If you have to, call a meeting. Just move.

Posted by ed in texas at March 14, 2006 10:24 AM

Excellent. That one made my sidebar.

Posted by Gerard Van der Leun at March 14, 2006 10:39 AM

Pity those of us who comment on the weather/traffic/birds.

Think of us as particulary sensitive and attuned to our surroundings. Or, as having a firm grasp on the obvious and a need for human interaction, but not anything too - uh - close.

I prefer the former.

Posted by Babs at March 14, 2006 11:08 AM

Or, Babs, you could consider us a bunch of fussbudgets. :)

Things like morning avian concerts are reminders that we don't run everything. No matter how some might wish it otherwise. There are simply things not under our control. We can bitch and moan about it. Or (in the case of birds) we can leave food out for the neighborhood cats, and wait for them to take advantage of the opteryxian buffet.

Posted by Alan Kellogg at March 14, 2006 6:39 PM

Very subtle, Vanman. One takes the Hitchcock
metaphor a step further and sees Tippi Hedren
sitting on a sunny bench outside the schoolhouse.
Tippi morphs into Hillary, complacent, controlled.
Behind her, a single crow lands on a jungle gym...

Posted by Robert at August 18, 2008 10:12 AM

Oh. It's a re-run. Must be summer.

Posted by Fat Man at August 18, 2008 10:17 AM

Several years ago while visiting cousins in Sweden, I was awakened by birdsong. At breakfast these cousins kindly asked me how I had slept. Still fighting the fatigue of the time change and not yet quite on my legs linguistically (pronunciation in Swedish can be tricky and subtle) I thought I answered, “Oh I slept fine until the birds woke me at 3 A.M. chirping like crazy on the roof.” It was sometime later that day that my relatives chuckled and told me that “chirping” and “f***ing” are really close to each other in pronunciation. I’ve never thought of the chirping and twittering of birds the same since.

Posted by Susan at August 18, 2008 10:10 PM

Try living next door to a rooster. It's a myth that they greet the dawn, they greet everything all day and all night.

Posted by Retread at August 19, 2008 8:54 AM

A couple of summers ago the crows chose the trees around our culdesac as their gathering place to stop off on their way to work in the morning - at dawn - and on the way home from work - at dusk. They'd start showing up in the treetops, then there'd be twenty or thirty of them grazing the culdesac and a hundred more in the trees, hopping from branch to branch and treetop to treetop, all of them jabbering to each other the whole time. That was when we found out how many different sounds crows can make. They always came from the northwest and left toward the southeast in the morning, and the reverse direction at night. I guess no one knows where they sleep.

Posted by pete at August 20, 2008 11:19 AM

I know its winter when the wife puts on the flannel

Posted by wildman at July 22, 2009 11:24 AM

Untill this week I didn't know the birds at home have an English accent, I do now.

Posted by Thud at July 12, 2010 12:38 PM

We've had flocks of parrots show up in the last few years here in So. Cal. They're green, loud, messy, and they trash fruit trees. They sound like a thousand burned out wheel bearings. I don't like the parrots.


Posted by jwm at July 12, 2010 7:31 PM

I like this so much,for it give me the clear feeling of different seasons .
So great.

Posted by Attila at July 13, 2010 6:45 AM

It was one of your stories about birds and the Laguna slide that brought me to your site. I agree with the 'get up at dawn crowd'. My early years were surfing, watching the sunrise. With the off-shore breeze one could smell breakfast being cooked all about town. Later years, running 3-4 miles while watching the sunrise. Some of the best times. All that given up to watch a computer screen...Where are my sneakers and board!

Posted by at July 20, 2010 11:09 AM

I don't work in an office, what's the number one fantasy?

Posted by BradnSA at June 30, 2013 3:02 PM

Brian Greenberg, you made my day!

Posted by Suz at March 5, 2015 5:45 AM

Often, the memory of a thing is more appealing than the reality of it allows upon that thing's return.
nostalgia: hindsight through rose tinted beer goggles.

Posted by Speller at March 6, 2015 9:52 PM