RIP Parrot

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 Update 9 AM:  They cremated her body at the avian hospital where they did the necropsy (I brought her in because I wanted to be 100% certain of how she died). 

    I am glad they did this because I have no yard in which to bury and I obviously couldn’t do it in the park and I would hate to just throw her in the trash like she was garbage.

     I did throw the Teflon skillet in the garbage.

                       *                                   *                          * 

    Parrot died.

     Fumes from the Teflon coating on a cooking pan.  No, it wasn’t me.  We had a houseguest. 

      The little ones survived because I’d rolled their cage into my bedroom that morning so that they could get some fresh air and sunlight.  

       She was supposed to be with me for 30 years more.  I was going to buy her a boyfriend parrot and everything.  She was such a nice bird.  She was timid and shy, but a very nice bird.  

      I threw out her cage.  I could have sold it or given it away on Craigslist, but I couldn’t bear to look at it.  I had to get rid of it.  Her little perches and toys and all.  I put it on the curb and it was gone when I came home from work.

      She died a horrible death and I was not even there.

     Guest is very sad and apologetic (it was an accident) and will buy me a new parrot, but I don’t want a new parrot.  I just want Parrot.

     I feel badly about all the things I did not do for Parrot.  I should have bought her more toys.

      There was a dark time in my life when she was the only thing that I loved.  

        Parrot, I’m sorry.  You were an awesome parrot and you did everything right.  The Vet said it happened very quickly.  I hope it wasn’t painful.  Bad enough that you were living in my apartment when you should have been flying around Africa.  

         You were the best Parrot.

Parrot Lays an Egg

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     Parrot has been going nuts recently.

     Usually, she is a very quiet bird, but for the last few weeks, she’s been screeching her ass off.  She’s been jumping over to my bookcase and attacking my books.  She shreds the newspaper on her cage floor.  She knocks her beak against hard surfaces.  She menaces my sweet smaller birds.  

      She even bit me!  She’s only bitten me once before, and that bite was just a little pinch.  This bite actually hurt.  It didn’t break the skin, but there was a bruise the next day.  

     And she screams and squawks and makes this very high-pitched chirp that hurts my ears.

     What’s up, Parrot?  Why are you freaking out?  Are you having a little birdie period or something?  

     I made an appointment to have her examined by our avian vet. 

     And then…the next morning…I found her sitting in the corner on the floor of her cage.

      This alarmed me.  Parrots don’t sit on the ground.  Even my little ones, who in their wild state scavenge the floor for food, don’t sit still on the ground.  

      Parrot had to be very sick, I thought.  And when birds are sick–by the time they evidence symptoms–they can perish quickly.  They are not hearty animals.  They are delicate. 

      I put on a glove and gently moved her to the side, and….

      PARROT LAID AN EGG!!!!

      An egg!  

      She was freaking out because she was pregnant!  She was chewing up the newspaper and the books in order to make nesting material!  

      I got online to ask people on a parrot forum for advice about what to do.  

      They said that, like poultry, parrots can lay eggs even if they don’t have sex/have a mate.  The egg is not fertilized.  So it won’t hatch, obviously. 

      The best thing to do is replace her egg with a fake plastic egg…or, if I don’t have a plastic egg, just let her sit on her own egg.  She will figure out that the egg is not going to hatch, and abandon it.

       Yikes! 

Parrot shreds $95 textbook

Parrot Sez: I Hope You Kept the Receipt

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          Readers of this blog are familiar (probably too familiar) with my pet, Parrot:

      I take bird ownership very seriously, and I try to give her the best possible care that I can (I really need to get her a mate–it’s unnatural for parrots to live alone.  She gets to see and hear my other birds, but they’re a different species and originated on a different continent, so they don’t speak the same birdie language or communicate very well.  Parrot is African and the others are New World birds). 

        Anyway, avian vets and bird behaviorists agree that it is important to give captive parrots the opportunity to forage for things like they do in their natural state.  It stimulates them mentally and discourages neurotic behaviors and boredom.  In the wild, they’re always hunting around for food and chewing things up and exploring stuff.  In captivity, they mostly just sit on their ass all day and move ten inches to partake in an ever-abundant supply of food.  Kind of like most Americans.  

      So, pet companies have designed “foraging toys.”  The bird has to work to get the treats out of them.  Foraging toys are a huge hit.  I make homemade forging toys with paper towel tubes and other stuff, but they’re not particularly challenging.  I decided that it was time to get Parrot a real, top-of-the-line foraging toy.  I found it on Amazon.  The reviewers were all, “My bird LOVES this thing!  Keeps him busy for hours!”   Here it is, the “Creative Foraging Systems Hide & Seek Refillable Canister”:

Creative Foraging Systems Hide & Seek Refillable Canister, 4-Inch W by 6-Inch L
It wasn’t cheap, either. 
       I hung that baby in her cage and waited for the fun to begin!  I think I was more excited about it than she was.  Actually, I know I was.  Because this is what it looks like one week later:

Parrot has declined to forage.
      NOTICE ANYTHING?   She hasn’t touched it.  Not once.  It looks like it just came out of the box.  She doesn’t even look at it.   I wonder if this is what parents feel like when they buy their kid a brand new bike and the kid doesn’t ever ride it.   For her part, she probably feels like she got socks for Christmas.   
      Know what Parrot’s favorite toy is…?  A little hardwood log with holes drilled into it.  I buy cheap wooden spoons from the $.99 store and stick them through the holes, and then hang it from the top of her cage.  She goes bonkers for it.  Amazingly, it never gets old to her.  I don’t get it.   Here is Parrot’s favorite toy, which she chooses over the expensive, state-of-the-art foraging device:

            Yup.  Wooden spoons stuck on a log.  Party down, Parrot.  

Parrot Goodness VII

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      Guess who flew into my room this morning to hang out with me? 

Parrot Sez: “You DON’T want to have to go to rehab!”

Parrot Sez: “Don’t do scary things!  Got any walnuts?”

 In other news, my crappy, malfunctioning internet router finally passed away.  GOOD RIDDANCE!  It will not be missed.

Torturing, evil internet router

    Behold, the dazzling new streamlined replacement.  I want to marry it: 

    
     Because that’s what I need in my life–MORE INTERNET!

Parrot Goodness VI

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    Parrot is so cute!  I look at her and talk to her as I sit at my desk.  It makes her happy.  She runs back and forth on her favorite perch and squeaks. (Her favorite perch is a “Comfy Perch,” if you want to know.  It’s made of cabled fabric and it’s kind on the feet.  The other birds love it, too.  If you are reading this and you have birds, get your bird a Comfy Perch today!  You can wash it in the sink, dishwasher, or washing machine!)

All Hail Comfy Perch (that is not my Parrot)

 I LOVE MY PARROT!



P.S.  I watched the trailer to Coriolanus three times after I woke up this morning.  Wow–PROJECTING MUCH, MARGO?  

Parrot Goodness V

     I love parrots. 


      This year, I need to get a mate for Parrot.  It’s really the least I can do for her.  They’re like cats, in that you can keep two as easily as one.  Like a slave, she can never be free.  The only quality of life she has is the one I provide.  


      Did I tell you that I let her fledge?  I did!  After much deliberation, I let her grow out her flight feathers.  She is three and a half years old, and had never been able to fly.  Her first owner kept her in a PARAKEET CAGE for a year and a half and never touched her.  Her second owner, who was a really good owner, nevertheless keeps all her birds clipped.  It is not an unwise policy.  The bird gets out the door or the window, and it’s dead.  


       But birds are designed to fly.  It is simply what they do.  In their natural state, they fly for miles every day.  


       I let Parrot’s feathers grow, and eventually, she started taking the occasional, cautious lap around the apartment.  She’s still pretty clumsy, but she’s new at this!  Sometimes she flies into my room (she can see me from her cage in the living room), crash-lands on my bed or desk, stares at me, and then flies back to her cage.  Sometimes she gets lost when she can’t see her cage, so I gently approach her and pick her up.  She steps onto my hand when I offer it, even when she is afraid.  I am moved by this.  She trusts me! She has never once bitten me. 


      Like a small child, she loves it when I watch her.  You know how kids say, “Watch me do this!”?  Parrot is like that.  Just watching her makes her happy and excited.  She sees me watching and starts to do her Happy Parrot Display Dance.  She darts back and forth and turns around and lifts her wings and trembles.  When she first started doing this, I was alarmed, and consulted the parrot experts on this internet parrot forum I belong to.  I thought maybe Parrot was flipping out.  The experienced parrot owners told me that Parrot was doing a “Hello, Friend!” greeting.  


      She makes the noise of the microwave beep, the cell phone ringtone of her last owner, the hiss of the radiator, and she is trying to talk.  She can almost say her name.  


      I love my Parrot.


      These are YouTube videos I enjoy which feature awesome parrots:




African Grays are probably the smartest birds on earth.  I have read nothing which indicates otherwise.


Bet you anything this cockatoo wants to go to the trees. That is sad, but I love how expressive he is.  Cockatoos are the most emotional (as we understand it) of parrots.  That is why they self-destruct in captivity.


This is a senegal parrot, like Parrot!  This guy is a terrific parrot owner.  His parrot loves the hell out of him.

Frustration Anger Hatred

      Okay, it’s Saturday night and I’m sitting home alone like some loser.  I’m a young woman; if I’m not having sex right now, I have no one to blame but myself.  Fine.  I accept this.  It’s just me and my birds, watching last night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.  James Carville is still kinda Hawt, and he used to be one of the best hired killers in Washington before he became just another partisan hack.  He’s lazy and sold out, but in the 1990s, he was absolutely lethal, and you never completely lose that sort of talent.  While he does not qualify for Imaginary Boyfriend status, Carville could still beat me with a coat hanger whenever he wanted to.  Call me, Mr. Carville.  I’ll provide the coat hanger.  All you have to do is show up.


      Just me and Parrot! Yup!


      Fine, out with it, out with it: I am pissed.  Pissed I’m lonely right now, pissed that I still want to lose weight, pissed that my leg looks like it was beaten by a rank amateur (not too far from the truth), and I am EXTREMELY PISSED about the B.S. experience I endured today at my secret job.


     How can I discuss this experience on my blog without risking fucking myself over….?


     I cannot.  Oh well!


    Man rolls into the Superstudio high as a kite (this is not unusual, or necessarily alarming).  On a bender and out of his mind.  He wants to see Miss Margo.  Okay, he’s not threatening, he knows what he wants, he’s not trying to violate any of my boundaries.  Miss Margo is not here to judge you about your drug use, so long as you mind your manners.  You are apparently an established wackadoodle.  So, okay.  Let’s rock.


     I tell management: I’m going in.  They KNOW this man is nuts.  They gave him vodka to calm him down.  Think about that.  “Here, have three vodka-cranberries to mellow out!”


    I was left in that room for thirty goddamned minutes OVERTIME (unpaid) before I could get out of there.  He didn’t try to hurt me, he did not violate me.  If he had, I would have run for it or tasered him or called the K9.  I knew the time was running over, but I couldn’t prove it, because there are no clocks there, and I cannot wear a watch.  I was waiting, waiting waiting–knock knock, please!


    If this was a normal job, I would be suing, or at minimum filing a formal complaint with HR.


     It was dead–no other business–and management was SNOOZING on me for no reason, and I had to handle this batshit high individual who was bouncing off the walls.  Forget the fact that I wasn’t remunerated for my time–I should not have been neglected or unattended by the management.  I have NEVER had a person this bad at the Superstudio.  Never.  Give me Jackass John any day–ANY DAY!  John is nuts but sweet as cake.  Give me Jame Gumb.  I mean it.


     I could not say to the management: “WHY DIDN’T YOU LOOK OUT FOR ME WHEN YOU KNEW THAT I WAS WITH THIS FRUITLOOP?!  WHY DON’T YOU GO SPEND TIME WITH HIM?!  WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR?!  THANKS FOR NOTHING!”


      They manage my bookings.  If our relationship becomes tense or hostile, I won’t make a dime.


       Never again, never again.


       That’s the sad thing about learning boundaries in this life: unfortunately, you rarely recognize and enforce your own until after they have been violated.  Like Depp’s character said in that film The Libertine: “Every lesson worth learning in this life in invariably learned at your own expense.” (That’s the quote as I remember it; it may be inaccurate.)


     10:40 PM   P.S.  On a happier note, I went to verify that quote from The Libertine.  Unfortunately, the film is not free online at YouTube.  Oh, the injustice (I am being sarcastic).  Anyway, if you haven’t seen this film, you ought to see it.  This is not a costume-romance period piece.  Nothing corny or breezy here.  It is serious, serious as a heart attack, and the writing and acting simply cannot be improved upon.  The people making this film were trying to make a  point.  Several points.  This is a serious actors’ film; the type of project an actor would commit themselves to just for the character and dialogue they could play.

Okay this is a misleading POS from Youtube; it is only a trailer, please only watch the only 1:06 minutes.  Sorry.  I couldn’t find anything better.  The Libertine wasn’t a blockbuster, you know.

One of the sexiest movie scenes EVER.  In the scene, Depp’s character is re-seducing his (intelligent and rightly disgusted and fed-up) wife in a carriage.  This movie is fascinating for many reasons.  Depp is a cynical alcoholic, but he is not insensitive, and he acknowledges the people who have emotionally contributed to his life (like his wife.  Note, though, his cold hatred towards his mother–important).  He is not a sociopath.  Could be a terrible person, though, as active addicts typically are.


Power.  Power, here.  She was worth a ton of cash, he took her, he was imprisoned for doing so (it goes without saying that women had to be from super-important families before accosting them merited legal action in those days), and she insisted that he be released to marry her.  POWER.  Electric.  On both sides.  Why else would she put up with this philandering junkie asshole?  And what would be he without her money–not that he was poor to begin with.  He’s got a noble title and creative talent, but practically, BFD, right?  It’s output which is crucial, not potential.  She had to put up with his awful husbandry because culture demanded it, but she could have checked out of the relationship emotionally.  Found a lover to be close with (maybe she did).  Someone to give her children, if she wanted them.


    But she is there, there, there with him, till the very last.  Her “Dear Abductor.”  She cared about him, and he hit the jackpot with her in every meaning, and he knew it, even though he neglected her terribly.  There is a scene in the film in which Depp’s character is dying of syphilis and alcoholism and he’s pointlessly infuriated the King (his boss) again, and his long-suffering wife shouts at him: “I am ever your last resort!” 


     I understand.  Sweetling, I know you are a fictive character in a film, but I have to wonder: what sort of person was your father? 

   

Happy Anniversary to Pieces of Margo!!! Thank you all!

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Image taken from: http://parrotpressnews.blogspot.com/2010/06/berts-blueberry-carrot-cake.html  

    I began this blog one year ago today.  Happy Anniversary to Pieces of Margo


     Blogging has become a very satisfying hobby for me.  It has afforded me the opportunity to correspond with fascinating individuals and has encouraged my personal growth, sobriety, and willingness to trust in others.  I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has read this blog; I find it very flattering.


      I was terrified to write honestly about my life because I presumed any readers would find me weird or perverted or even objectionable (I’m also paranoid about my anonymity, of course).  To my complete astonishment, almost all of the letters and feedback I’ve received have been positive or supportive in tone (note 2/28: I am, in fact, both weird and perverted.  I am okay with that, though that last is…well, problematical, as every perv trying to date knows). I realize that the readers of this blog do not compromise a random cross-sample of the general population (I know almost nothing about my readers, but I know that my traffic isn’t coming in through The New York Times online or Huffington Post, if you know what I mean), but I’ve still been pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback people have sent me. (Every now and then I do get hatemail–they NEVER post their sentiments in the comments section, always in email–but I’ve worked in journalism before, so I anticipated that.  Most of the haters sound cracked, which makes their insults easy to brush off.)  


       I am rambling, as I am wont to do.  I simply wish to express my gratitude for your interest in my blog.  For whatever it’s worth, this blog (AND YOU!) have helped me to change into a better person.  A year ago, when I published my first post, Miss Margo was like this: 

Image found at: http://deafpagancrossroads.com/2009/06/21/oceans-anniversary-party/

     Except that I had no crown.  And I did not drink EVERY night. I mean, I had papers to write. Oh, hell, forget it–it was bad enough; why minimize it?  


      Finally, for your enjoyment, gentle reader: I FOUND A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE OF A PARROT SINGING MOZART!  (he only starts singing halfway trough the video; please be patient) 



Parrot Goodness III (Parrot Misses Me!)

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    Oh ma gawd, Parrot just melted my heart!


     I walked in the door ten minutes ago.  It’s 3 in the morning.  I was going to make a snack, so I let Parrot out of her cage.  I gave her a peanut.  Then I went to my desk in my bedroom.


     Parrot flew from her cage and landed on my shoulder!  She came to me! She’s never done that before–flown to me. She is sitting here on my shoulder right now!


     I feel so badly about neglecting her to spend all day and night at work.  She deserves better.  


      Here is beautiful Parrot.  I wish I was as pretty as Parrot!