Going Grey

Whoah…coming back to blog now feels stiff!  It’s like when I take a week off from running and don’t stretch beforehand–this feels alien and difficult.

I am not without my reasons for my week-long hiatus, though.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gone a week without blogging before; but this time it feels like an exceptionally long time, due to mass amounts of homework and social obligations and food preparation and daydreaming.

In short, I had a lot of stuff to do.  And, master procrastinator that I am, I ended up having it all pile up on certain days, and had to pull almost-all-nighters on two occasions.  (I’m not even going to listen to you if you try to say that almost-all-nighters aren’t nearly as impressive as all-nighters.)

But these things I have to do are not all bad; in fact, some of them (those selected by choice) are right up my (orange) ally!

Allow me to introduce Drizzle, the African Grey.

We’ve been fostering Drizzle for a few months now, which was exciting for me, but I wanted to keep it on the down-low on the blog in case his original owner ended up appealing to a court and getting him back.  Drizzle was seized from a home with owners charged with animal neglect; the cage hadn’t been cleaned, um, ever, and the drinking water was black.  I like to think that his owners just didn’t have the time to look after him, and had good intentions; but nevertheless I’m pretty psyched he’s with us now!  If anyone who knew Drizzle-before-he-was-Drizzle is reading this, I promise he is in the BEST of hands here at the Household of the Girl in the Orange.

Drizzle adds constant comic relief to our lives–he makes lovely bubbling noises, repeats “whhhhooooOOOOAAAAHHHhhhhh” in the most awestruck tone over and over again (when we’re out of the room) ;), and even occasionally honors us with the phrase “a good good good good good good good good bird!”.  I am under the impression that the amount of “good’s” changes depending on how angelic he’s feeling at the moment.

So, how is this bird adding to my stress levels?  Well, in school this year we are required to do a “culminating project” of sorts, that represents both a personal challenge and a step outside our comfort zone for us, and will help us learn more about ourselves, our capabilities, and the world.  For this project, I’ve decided that there would be no better personal challenge for me–while still being something I love!– than training Drizzle.  (Except perhaps recipe developing.  I’d love to learn more about the “science” of baking and flavor composition!  But, you guys, I had to choose.)

Over the course of the year I will be working with Drizzle, teaching him basic tricks at the start and working my way up to more advanced, “whhhhooooOOOOAAAAHHHhhhhh”-worthy tricks.  Currently I am just phasing out of the “Socialization” stage (which mainly involved me handing him tidbits of food from outside the cage, sitting outside the cage for hours and reading aloud to him, and just talking to him whenever I was in the kitchen) and am entering the Basic Trick-Training phase of my project.  First on our to-do list is mastering Step-Up; I thought this was a reflex for all birds, but, apparently, Drizzle is special.  😉

Action shot. Bells are FUUN!!

Just another little insight into my daily life for you all!  This project isn’t strongly related to the topics I usually post about; but one of my main goals through this blog is to post, in general, things that matter to me, without worrying whether they fill a certain niche or category.  This is one of my “things”.  Birds matter to me.  They are such beautiful, intelligent, complex, amazing creatures, and I hope I’ll get to learn more about the marvels of avian psychology over the course of this project.

And keep my fingers intact.  That would be nice too.

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