Friday, September 04, 2009

Uncommon Encounter

When I was twelve, I visited a Native American museum in Taos, NM. On one wall was a circle of wood. On it, written in a spiral that culminated in a crude print of a dragonfly, was a description of the role that dragonflies played in the lives of warriors of this tribe. I wish I could remember the tribe. Basically what the spiral said was that the warriors tattooed dragonflies onto their body for protection. It said that when dragonflies feel threatened, they fly very close to the ground and beat their wings so that the dust from the dirt swirls around. This enables them to dart off to safety, effectively escaping their predators. I couldn't tell you about anything else at the exhibit. But what I can tell you is that I have felt the absence of this tattoo on my body since reading this. Almost twenty years have passed and I still feel naked and unprotected. I've planned it out in my head a million times but have never taken that next step. Someday I will.

With this piece of art, an obsession was born. Dragonflies intrigue me. I have a huge collection of dragonflies that ranges from art prints to stained glass pieces to greeting cards, etc. The list goes on. Matt has gone as far to say, "Slap a dragonfly on any piece of crap and Devon will buy it." Thanks, Matt! But seriously, I can't resist a dragonfly.

My interactions with dragonflies have been limited though. I've watched many a dragonfly flit by and have watched in happy awe. At Squam this year, I was walking along with Matt and a dragonfly landed on my shirt! It stayed for half of the walk to the dining hall. Very cool.

But big experience arrived a couple of weeks ago at one of my client's houses. They have a pool and while dipping my feet in, I noticed that a number of bugs had made the unfortunate mistake of ending up in the pool. I saved a couple of ladybugs and then I noticed the dragonfly and just about died. I was so sad. Since they didn't have a pool skimmer, I'd been using a styrofoam floaty tube to wrangle them in. I worked for a while at pulling the dragonfly closer and eventually got it close enough to gently lift it out.

Carefully, I placed it on my hand (in what I would realize later was an upside-down position). I sat with it like that staring for a good five minutes. I had never seen a dragonfly up close before. What a luminous creature! Its wings had a gossamer sheen and it's eyes! Oh my god, it's eyes! They glow. They radiate light. They reflect. Amazing! And it's little face looks like a pansy or a monkey (another serious obsession)! Unreal!

As I sat there staring at it, I realized that its body was very very very slowly expanding and contracting and repeating the motion. In and out it slowly went. Realizing it was alive and that I'd saved it from drowning was such a powerful moment. I brought it over to the table and set it down. I finally realized that it was upside-down and I carefully turned it over. As it breathed in and out, sometimes fast enough for me to realize that it was panicking, I separated its chlorine covered wings. As they congealed again, I would separate them again.

When I felt it had dried enough, I transferred it to a leaf and found a good hiding spot for it to recover. I checked the next day and the leaf remained, empty.

I'll never know if it escaped but in my head it did. And my dragonfly obsession? A million times bigger.

Here are a couple of images and a couple of videos of the beautiful creature.

The hiding place!

Notice how fast it's breathing (watch the end of its body).

Look at its beautiful monkey face!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tiny Flier

I am going through the huge process of organizing my photos and I came across one that I meant to post. Hell, I've meant to post a ton of stuff but man have I been busy.

I took a trip to the train station a month ago (?) and I noticed at stop lights that there was a fly on my window. Mind you, I think flies are filthy disgusting creatures. Blarf. But there was something different about this little one. While it wasn't busy barfing on my windshield, it appeared to be going for a ride. When the car slowed to a stop, it would turn its body around so that it was facing the top of the car. As the car sped up, it would turn its body around and hold on for dear life. You could actually see the wind whipping through its little leg hairs.

Sure, I thought, that's cool. See you later. But I got to the train station and picked up my lovely passenger, Aimee and I pointed out the fly, expecting it to be gone by this point. Nope. So she watched with me as we drove to The Shoe (naturally) while this little fly continued its dance, flipping back and forth.

When we came out to go off to dinner, it was still there! It danced to the the restaurant and by the time we came out it had flown off. But it had spent at least an hour on my windshield. Every time I started driving again, I waited for the force of the air to push it off and it held on tight. What an invigorating experience it must have been for this tiny little thing. How fascinating that at any other time, I might not even have noticed it was there or would have wanted it to move on as quickly as possible. Instead I've have a memory of a fly holding on while it whips through the ride of its life.

Here's a blurry picture of the little dancing fly, facing up in the "stop" position:

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Apparently Tabitha IS smart!

When not shoving her face into paper bags, climbing into cardboard boxes or licking plastic bags, Tabitha is apparently a genius at tricking Piper. Last night, Matt watched as Tabitha looked on at Piper who was in the window. She wanted a space in the the window but Piper is rude. So instead of giving up in sadness, she decided that biting him on the tail was her next objective. His response was, "ow" and he jumped down, chasing after her. Here's where her smartypants exceeded expectations: She ran past the table, made a sharp left and came back around, and then jumped up into the window sill, leaving Piper in a befuddled mess. Superb.

(Tabitha working the "bag on head" look.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

So Hot

I just wasted half an hour at H&M's website creating this model and laughing hysterically. First I made my model like me, so she has extra weight on her and I "tried on" ugly shirts. Shockingly enough, she looked fat in a lot of them. Then I discovered the jumpsuits. And oh it just went on from there.

This was just about as fun as discovering that "Ana" on the Ikea website doesn't like it when you swear at her. This of course turned into plenty of wasted hours coming up with creative things to say to her.

What can I say, I'm a sucker when it comes to things that will further me in absolutely no way and might just make me late for where I need to be (like right now).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not that there's anything funny about the Bernard Madoff scandal, but...

I'd like to report that while listening to NPR on my commute home, the radio reporter (is that what they're called?) tried to say that Bernard Madoff was being brought up on fraud charges but instead of saying "Fraud Charges", she said, "Fart Charges" and I almost drove off of the road, I was laughing so hard.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I say "Whee" a lot when I'm driving.

It's a pretty good indication of how I drive.

I went to my parent's house the other day. A couple days before there had been a snow storm in which I made tracks up the driveway once and in the meantime, an ice storm had followed. This left the obnoxiously un-plowed driveway with a car track covered by about 2 inches of ice surrounded by icy snow. Adding insult to injury, the town had plowed about 2 feet of snow into the end of the driveway turning it into a roller coaster. Not easily deterred, I made a go at it, coming in from the right and got stuck in the driveway. Backed up, went forward, stuck. Backed up, went forward, stuck. Repeat far too many times. I had the peddle at full force the throughout all of it causing the engine to rev like it was preparing for a drag race. Snow was kicking up everywhere. I then decided that that if I burned through enough snow using this strategy, I'd be able to make it up the driveway. No dice.

A normal person, at this point, would park the car and walk the 50 feet up the driveway. You'll be shocked to know that I am not a normal person.

I put the car in reverse, shot out of the driveway onto the road, positioned my car dead on so that I'd have a straight path and gunned it like my life was over. As the car careened up the driveway, narrowly missing the fence, it rocketed along the icy path, kicking up what looked like pounds of snow in its wake. Finally, it cleared the house, obviously getting close enough to induce heart attacks, but I had arrived. This is when I saw the squirrels running in terror, literally diving for cover. I opened my door, wafted in the smell of burning tires and stomped to the house muttering, "I'll show YOU what a beetle is capable of doing."