I'm cleaning out my closet today. I'm such a packrat.
There are things in there that I haven't worn in like... eight years. And I've only lived in this apartment for five.
Gah! The dust! Allergies suck.
Ok, so onto something interesting.
Photo credit: Tam Stuart
European Starlings. So pretty. I've noticed them around every spring/summer and have always thought them to be neat birds. Shiny black, sprinkled with polka dots, a purplish sheen... lovely. I'm not a birder, or at least I never used to be, but I feel a creeping birding tendency coming on. I think it is a hobby that I may acquire soon. I guess I need a birding guide and binoculars. For some reason I associate this with elderly people, but really, that should make me feel quite at home (I am a 33 year old elderly person).
Last weekend though, I visited a local natural history museum, and I discovered that they are the zebra muscles of the bird world. Apprently all the North American European Starlings are descendents of a group of 100 or so that were released in 1890 in Central Park by a poetic (but misguided) soul who wanted to bring every bird mentioned by Shakespeare to the New World (I read this both on wikipedia, and [minus the Shakespeare part] at the museum).
So... they are pretty but they are pests.
In unrelated news, have you heard of YouTube Disco? What a smart idea! It's a bit like global network of dreams (gnod) but instead of just suggesting new music for you to check out on your own time, it helpfully creates a playlist for you to listen to and discover. The way it works is that you put in a band/muscician you like and then hit Disco! and voilà. It plays a mix of the band you chose and other stuff that is similar. Neato mosquito.
And finally, guess what I'm up to lately? Reading! Nice, hun? I'm taking a summer class to inch ever closer to getting my library technician diploma and it happens to be a Libraries for Young Adults type class, and we have to read a book a week and review it. Eeep. I am a bookworm, it's true, but I am also a pretty slow reader. I may try to do some of this reading via audiobook. Anyway, even though it's daunting, it is also exciting! Usually when I'm taking classes I have to sneak fiction in on the sly, guiltily. Now I can lounge around reading great YA literature and still totally be doing homework. So awesome.
The first book I read is Alice, I Think by Susan Juby.
(Check out how cute her website is, speaking of birders:)
It's a great book! Not only is it clever, quirky and quite funny, it's also Canadian. It's set in Smithers, BC and is a diary-style account of 15 year old Alice who is headed to high school after a lifetime of home schooling. She's wonderfully odd and antisocial and fun to read. Especially funny are the adults of her world, as seen by her. Her hipie parents and their tragic friends, her teachers, counselors, and her boss are all hilarious. Or rather, the way she talks about them is hilarious.
Ok, I'm headed back to the closet, and then I need to get oustide to enjoy all 22 degrees of this lovely afternoon.