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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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Who's a pretty birdie?
Who's a pretty birdie?

The bird catcher

I open the door to the most daunting place in our home – the garage.

I gasp as some sort of airborne hellion descends from the ceiling and across the man cave. I think to myself, "This is why I do not mess with this place. Menacing flying creatures may attack at any moment."

But, the garage is the only passage into my car and the husband is in Europe – too far too save me from what my mind has exaggerated as a "Wizard of Oz"-ish flying monkey, so I am forced to investigate on my own what is lurking on high.

My greatest fear is that this is a bat or perhaps some sort of overgrown insect waiting to gain entry to my home or find roost on my person.

The winged invader is clearly stressed and reveals itself to be only a trapped little birdie. I am unable to discern what type of bird this is ... she is tiny, maybe only slightly bigger than a hummingbird with wings flapping so quickly I can barely even see them.

I decide the quickest remedy is to leave the garage door open and hope she finds escape.

A day passes and no progress, the little bird remains and is now taking up residence in one of the beamed hollows.

I am forced to bring in assistance.

My teenage stepdaughter has been catching insects, birds and lizards since she could crawl, so clearly she is the proper authority to free this petite critter.

However, I know a thing or two about Alisha and if she gets close enough to snare this bird, we will not be rid of the fowl anytime soon.

I alert Alisha to the situation anyway and am pleased at her knowledge and enthusiasm for the project. She enlightens me that the reason the bird cannot exit is that when they sense danger, they only fly upwards ... thus imprisoning the avian in our garage. There is no end to what this girl teaches me.

I leave her to "Operation: Free Bird."

An hour later, my stepdaughter, whose outward glamor belies the tomboy that lives within her, emerges with oversized Callaway-mittened hands and the varmint encased within her covered …

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There's no easy way to say it...
There's no easy way to say it...

It's so hard to say goodbye

So, maybe I'm not built to be a roadie.

I jumped off tour to return to my previous, more stationary life.

In the process, I had to break away from new friends I bonded quickly with. Living together, working together, eating together, kind of showering together, sleeping together (quiet your minds – on a bus in separate bunks) will get you close to your colleagues fast.

I hate goodbyes.

Hellos are so much more exciting and satisfying, filled with newness, mystery and clean slates.

Even when the exit is desired from a specific situation, relationship, job or even a dinner party – uttering the words that traditionally signal "aufedersein" to people that I have a connection with is highly difficult for me.

I stutter at the anticipation of the "buh-bye" moment. I falter to find the words to encapsulate everything I want to say, unlike in an email where I can get everything out in one screen shot. I find myself wanting to hit the send button in order to evade the in-person parting moment altogether.

The more difficult the departure, the awkwardness multiplies and avoidance ensues. I shudder at the ditch dance from lunches with friends, cocktail parties or family get-togethers. I'd rather just disappear.

Although many "so longs" are bittersweet, filled with conflicting sparks spanning the emotional spectrum, the sadness of relinquishing anyone or anything seems to triumph over the joy of whatever lies ahead – at least temporarily.

Although I used to crave the chaos and unexpectedness that comes with change, my almost 36 years have quieted that urge for upheaval. The most transition I desire now is adjusting to taking an extra inch off my bangs.

I am sure this is a product of a childhood filled with constant traveling back and forth between states and households, losing close family members too early and an inborn heightened dramatic flair for everything, but the background psychology is insignificant once the residual baggage rears its subconscious head whe…

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