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December 18, 2004: Flight patterns

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Yesterday my boss came into the office and went immediately for the binoculars. At first I wasn't sure what he was looking at, until he pointed to the tree directly outside our office door and mentioned that it was full of finches. It took a moment to realize what he was talking about finches are tiny little things and their colors blended into what remains of the leaves on that tree, but I finally saw one, and then another, and then suddenly I realized that the entire tree was swarming with them. Through the binoculars I could get a better glimpse of the green feathers on the males, and the perfect black and white striped wings, but without the binoculars they were just tiny little brown blurs, bouncing from twig to twig. There was something almost a little disturbing about the whole thing. And it's not that the tree hasn't been swarming with birds before occasionally huge flocks of mockingbirds or blue jays decide to perch there, and sometimes the starlings that nest on our balcony zip around in the branches, but they are all large enough to see. This was a little different, however they were too small, too well camouflaged, until suddenly you realize that the tree is alive with them. It was sort of like suddenly discovering that something is swarming with ants.

I blame Hitchcock for this, of course. My brain would never try to convince me that swarms of finches were the remotest bit disturbing if it hadn't been for Hitchcock.

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I had grand plans today plans that involved lounging around in my pajamas and bathrobe until afternoon, working on Christmas cards and some last-minute Christmas knitting, and maybe even tackling another lesson in my Photoshop class I'm taking through University Extension. But Richard suggested cornmeal waffles with pecan butter for breakfast and that, of course, meant that we would have to go out to get them, which meant that if I was going to leave the house I had to do things like put on presentable clothing that doesn't have little purple moose all over, and shoes that are not fuzzy inside, and do things to my hair so I would not scare small and unsuspecting children.

So instead of lounging today, there has been waffles and a little shopping, and lunch with my parents and my sister and her husband and the world's cutest nephews. The oldest charmed the computer/math nerd side of his family by informing us that he's been acing the timed math tests and by quizzing us on our multiplication tables. He's only in first grade and he's already doing multiplication. I figure we'll have him coding by the time he leaves elementary school.

This afternoon I did get some of that knitting done (although not as much as I'd hoped), and this evening we had a three-hour choir rehearsal, which went surprisingly well, considering this is the first time we've actually practiced with the string quartet which will be playing with us during tomorrow's cantata performance. We drove home through pea soup fog and listened to the BareNaked Ladies Christmas album on the way (an early Christmas present from Richard), and managed to do the final batch of signing and folding and stuffing and sealing all the Christmas cards with annual Christmas letters enclosed. And now there is nothing left to do but just a little more present-related knitting, and the last round of present wrapping, and we are done.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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