the dirty dozen, concluded (with underwear):

09 shakespeare brought starlings to central park (and the united states)! it's news to me (though i'm guessing paul and pica have known for ages), and utterly charming (even though starlings can be horrible bullies). from the university of houston's john h. lienhard:
Shakespeare's plays are full of references to birds. In 1890 a drug manufacturer named Eugene Scheiffelin decided that New York should be home to all Shakespeare's songbirds. He brought thrushes and skylarks from England and released them into American skies. They failed to fight their way into our ecology.

But 1990 and 1991 mark the centennial of his third experiment. In 1890 he released 60 starlings into Central Park. A year later he released 40 more. This time his romantic gesture was a success. And what a success it was!

Times correspondent Ted Gup tells what happened next. For six years the starlings stayed in Manhattan. New Yorkers were delighted when they showed up in the eaves of the Museum of Natural History. Then they flew out into America. They reached the Mississippi River by 1928, and California by 1942.

10 the spring '08 darts season kicked off last night, and joe and his lads won their first match 12-6 (since they're now in a tougher league, this is unexpected and excellent). as in the fall, the team is called cobra kai; for additional info on the mental landscape of darts players, refer to other names from the tuesday master schedule. my favorite trend, though, is the monday teams' fixation on our troubles in albany: the gaf east is fielding 'spitzer swallows,' and the boys from crowe's nest will be known as 'client #9.'

11 via the ladymag, rufus wainwright's blackout sabbath:
I propose this: On a Saturday around the summer solstice (June 21st) for a 12 hour period (noon to midnight) wherever you are, let's all turn off the power at the same time, ie: lights, TV, phones, fridges, etc... Anything you can possibly do without FOR 12 HOURS. This time could be spent contemplating alone or with friends on the coming year and what personally one can do to save the planet. And at the end of the day, as darkness rolls in, a candle is lit and a list is made of all the things we can do that year to help the environment...
like RW (who prefaces his proposal with fond words for new york city's blackout of '03), i think outages are great fun (and i obviously love lists) - i think we might give this a try (i will win over the joe, who is less than keen on unplugging the refrigerator). scrabble in the plaza on saturday the 21st! my darts could be blunt enough to toss around in the dark by then, too.

12 via a beautiful diy project at design*sponge, needlenthread.com's (free!) video library of hand-embroidery stitches. so, so much easier to follow than the vague and teeny drawings in books; bless the woman who filmed these.

13 bonus! from luck: the essential guide, by deborah aaronson and kevin kwan, trustees of the society for fortuitous events:
Although most beliefs regarding things done by accident are inauspicious, mistakenly putting underwear on inside out is an exception, and if you happen to do so, wear it like that for the rest of the day for good luck. If you're having a bad day, try turning your underwear inside out, and your day should improve. Wearing red underwear when gambling, flying in a plane, or really any time you need an extra hit of luck is a good idea. Although if it's your wedding day, as some early English superstitions suggest, going commando is a much luckier bet.
jacob, megan, david, and meg, take note!


Meg said...

If say, your dress is tea length, I think this might be particularly unlucky. Especially during the chair dance.

I was totally with you on the power outage thing until you got to unplugging the fridge. I'm going to go with Joe on that one. But the rest of it sounds awesome.

Ma said...

You can practice scrabble when you're here in April...Doug got two bingos the other day and was over 400 points when I finally harumphed enough to stop the game.

RE: underwear...what if you're so out of it in the morning that you have your waist through a leg-hole and the remaining appendages through the remaining openings? Still good luck?

lauren said...

what if you're so out of it in the morning that you have your waist through a leg-hole and the remaining appendages through the remaining openings?

are you telling me that all of the women in our family do this, or are you mocking me for 1998's bay of thongs incident?

god, i hate thongs.

babyjo said...

hey, just because you've got troubles with your thong-tha-thong-thong-thong doesn't mean you get to group all of us in with you. i can get my knickers on correctly, thankyouverymuch.

Ma said...

'tweren't a thong.

uncle paul said...

Yes, we have Henry IV and the talking starling to thank!


Nay, I will; that's flat:
He said he would not ransom Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I'll holla 'Mortimer!'
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but 'Mortimer,' and give it him
To keep his anger still in motion.

enjelani said...

ooh! scrabble in the plaza: so very there (to be roundly schooled, no doubt). might organize a rooftop gig too...er, if piano movers and ceiling integrity permit.

re: fridge, seems doable. condiments should keep okay for twelve hours not-cold, as would eggs, butter and most veggies. and it'd be an opportunity to zap any frost/icicles in the freezer.

pica said...

The starling also represents my favorite brand of olive oil: http://www.vea.es/688_english/estornell.htm

"Under the 'L'Estornell' brand -- catalan word for a type of bird that likes olives very much and comes to 'help' during harvest time -- we bottle two different oils..."

Last piece of starling trivia: Mozart kept one as a pet, and it is thought (wishfully, I suspect) that they may have had a creatively productive relationship. Starlings, being mynah birds, love to imitate and improvise on all the noises they hear, including cell phone ringtones. Aside from being terribly messy, they make fine pets, too, although they will totally poke you in the eye if they can. Human eyes look just like shiny moving insects to a starling brain.