Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Heart-Stopping Tale of the Terrifying Attack Bird that Flew into My House

It was an ordinary Saturday night. The kids were playing, if whacking each other with a stick counts, the husband was working on an endless work thing, and I was hanging out in my natural habitat, the kitchen. I had just settled in for a mind-numbing session of looking at the same 5 sites over and over again when the dog did that thing she does to let us know she wants to go outside (standing nearish the kitchen door while trying to make eye contact with someone). I sighed heavily to let her know how much of an inconvenience this was for me and flung open the back door.

What happened next took place in the space of 2 or 3 seconds, but it felt like slow-motion. My brain couldn't keep up with the chaos, but it basically went down like this:

I opened the door and was immediately hit in the face by something, but I didn't know what that something was. My mind went to "BAT!"

Obviously, I started screaming a terrifying scream straight out of Psycho, bringing forth all matter of child and beast, but no husband. Cats were tearing through the house, the dog raced back inside to try her best to trip me as I ran around in circles in the kitchen screaming at the short people to retrieve their father, my voice raising an octave with every panicked sentence:  

"Go get Daddy!! Get Daddy now!! There is a bat!! A BAT! ANDERSON THERE IS A BAT!!!"

I may or may not have peed a little.

Finally, I managed to take in a little oxygen and determine that I needed to locate the bat. My eyes scanned the room counterclockwise. Cabinets. Stove. Sink. Fridge. A bird on the corner cabinet. Microwave. What. It took way too long for my brain to register that the bat was a bird, and I stupidly breathed a sigh of relief before I realized a bird was in the house. 

"BIRD!!" I screamed uselessly. 

"There is a bird??" David exclaimed. "I love birds!! Anderson, there is a bird! Oh, yay, Mommy!" 

By now Kurt had finally emerged from the basement, looking glazed and overworked.

"It's not a spider," I reassured him.

"What is it?"

I pointed toward the corner.

"I'm not coming in until you tell me what it is!"

"Just look!"

"I don't want whatever it is to attack me."

"Don't you want to save me??"


"Oh my god. It is a bird! An attack bird! Get it!"


He finally came in the room and we all looked at one another. 

The bird and Kurt exchanged a look. The bird and I exchanged a wary look. 

Kurt and I exchanged a half-bemused/half-panicked look that conveyed a singular thought: Oh, geez. We're the parents in this scenario. It's all on us to remove this winged hell-beast from our home before it destroys every one of us and takes the dog to its lair just for spite. 

We spent the next 10 minutes chasing the bird from room to room.

No, bird. This is a picture of a tree. It's embarrassing to admit how easily you outwitted us. Repeatedly.

The bird is nearish this area. Kurt was really thankful for my my helpful bad-picture taking while he alone worked to coax the bird from its various perches.

The chaos continues. I think I was yelling useful information about exactly where the bird was at that second. "It is on the Christmas tree! It is on that picture frame! The bird just flew that way!" I'm pretty concerned about my ability to cope with an emergency at this point.

The bird wanted to help put up the Christmas decorations, maybe. He scrambled around in boxes while Kurt looked on wearing his protective work gloves.

Kurt attempts to coax the bird down as if he has suddenly become the Falconer.

The bird was very, very confused and could not comprehend the need to exit through one of the wide open doors or windows. Our collective 11 years of higher education did not help in this terrifying scenario. We contemplated going next door to borrow a beekeeper's suit from the neighbor because above all else, allowing the bird to touch one of us was out of the question, despite the fact that he'd already smacked me full in the face. We thought about things we'd seen on TV. "Well, they are always shooing them out with a broom, right? We could just hit at it with a broom."

Around this time, the terrifying bat/bird/dragon began walking around on the floor like he had decided to become a person since going outside ever again was obviously out of the question. 

He asked for a dry martini and made a passive-aggressive comment about the state of our living room, something about how it must be nice to feel so unencumbered by social graces like "cleaning," and that's when I'd finally had enough. 

I gave him the side-eye and cleared my throat pointedly. 

And then, he rolled his eyes and walked out the front door without so much as a "how do you do."


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 2013 CincySarah Internet Awards

Apropos of nothing, my little guy was in a "mini-Nutcracker" this year.
Look at the cute. LOOK AT IT.

I promised, long, long ago, to promote a few of my new favorite online spots. And then, because of reasons and also Reasons, I didn't. I didn't forget, though. You really should be reading these things, too, and I'd be remiss in not mentioning them here at some point.

I present to you the CincySarah Certified Awesome Sites I Spent A lot of 2013 Looking At And Stuff (CSCASISALLAAS):

Favorite Escape: Camp Tramps

I mean, seriously. I'm ready to stow away; aren't you? Credit: Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman is hilarious, talented, irreverent, and basically all around great. She also spends a great deal of time cooped up in a cute little camper, traveling around America with her adorable husband Brad. Lucky for us, she tells us all about her adventures on her fantastic new photo travel site thingie, Camp Tramps. I love the photography, and I often find myself convulsed with laughter over the stories. Amy is really adept at making her readers feel like they have stowed away in her fifth wheel (is that a camper thing? it sounds like a camper thing), or at least wishing they had. Did I mention the camper has been christened "Breaking Brad?" 

Favorite Site for When I Want to Feel Extremely Emotional: Humans of New York

"One day you’ll feel eighteen, look sixty, and wonder what happened." Credit: HONY
Yeah, yeah, late to the party, yadda, yadda. That just means I got to binge on the amazing content here when word of this amazing collection of emotion-stirring imagery finally made its way to me through my fortress of Candy Crush Saga and obscure subReddits about home canning and ukulele playing. I felt ashamed for having wasted so much time that I could have been spending at HONY. 

Because... wow. 

This isn't about trick photography or some cheap, staged, click-baiting stunt. HONY is this unassuming guy named Brandon and his camera. It's simple. He goes around NYC and asks people about their story and then shares it with us. The lucky, so very lucky, us. When I go here, I feel like I'm part of the human race. I'm overwhelmed by the raw, beaten-down expression of people who are experiencing pain I'll probably be fortunate enough to never experience, and I'm bemused by the old guys with funny jokes, and inspired by the ancient couples who still remember this one tiny story about a moment in their shared life, 50 years ago... It's an example of using this medium for good. It also makes me want to do a Humans of Cincinnati feature, like yesterday.

Favorite "Primary Source" Online Resource: Letters of Note

A hilarious form letter from Steve Martin to a fan. Read more at: Letters of Note.

Lately, I crave real content. You can only read so many formulaic "news" articles focused more on driving traffic than delivering actual journalism before you're ready to write the whole thing off. I've been there a lot this year. I'm sick of feeling like I'm on the receiving end of a sales transaction with every click I make. This is only part of the reason I find Letters of Note, and its tagline, "Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience," such a refreshing break. 

It's just what it sounds like - real letters in their original form, lovingly scanned in for internet posterity. It's letters to and from famous people, historical figures, regular people - even the occasional pet is addressed. 

Wait. You do remember letters, right? They were those pages with the swirly letters, usually sent to you by a grandparent or distant cousin. In the case of the cousin, they were probably written under duress, thanking you for the gift you didn't know you sent, usually a shirt. No? All the more reason to get over there. Letters of Note is also reason enough to bring back the cursive writing, or at least, cursive reading, requirement to all public school systems.

How amazing is it to be able to read, on your tiny phone/computer/homing device, a beautiful, original letter from 16th century South Korea, written from a young, grieving widow to her dead husband? It's incredible and Letters of Note is another good example of using this medium for something important.


Thus concludes this round of CincySarah Internet Awards (CIA! Much easier to remember). I wanted to share these sites with you, and there are many more, but never enough, because I fully understand how disheartening it can feel out here. I'm guilty of wasting tons of precious time on stupid internet things, so don't feel judged about the fact that you may have just spent 45 minutes learning about the doge meme (it is delightful; I get it).

I just strongly encourage you to seek out the gems, too. There are still real people putting in honest hours to bring the world to your device, for the love of sharing the stories that make the world revolve, for the creative outlet, maybe because they feel they simply must.

Whatever the reason, I'm richer for their devotion.

What have you been reading in 2013?