First off, let me say how AWESOME all of y'all are, with the donations to the Red Cross and the Humane Society and Noah's Hope and everywhere else. You are all wonderful, and that is no lie.
Keep on commenting or emailing when you donate (I'll close things on Monday evening), and you can comment here or in the last entry (I will keep track, because I'm clever like that). And read through the comments if you need any additional donating ideas; there are a lot of good ones in there, from a lot of good people.
I am now adding multiple prizes, because LORD KNOWS that if anyone wants a painting of mine, well. Uh...I kind of like to give them away, to prevent Painting Overload in my own home. Seriously, ask Al or AB or Sarah B. They all have paintings that I have given them, all, "HAVE SOME ART! NO SERIOUSLY TAKE THIS ART" because that is just what I do.
So now, there will be a first prize of one biggish painting, and then a second and third of smallerish paintings. Yes! Because what the fuck else am I going to do for the next week and a half, before I go back to work? I do not do "sitting still" very well. I kind of always have to be a little busy with the hands. Or I will fidget.
Fidget, fidget. (As an aside, y'all, I love that word. If I ever get another dog, I will name him Fidget. It makes no sense, but then, does "Pugsley" make any sense? No. Not really.)
Aaaaaanyway. Let us now change subjects dramatically and talk about My Day With The Animals! Because today was just chock fucking FULL of creatures, and my dogs are not even HERE, and people, WHAT THE HOLY FUCK, because these creatures? Not cuddly. HA HA! NO. It was all very Wild Kingdom.
Anyway, it started with me getting up this morning, and going down to the beach to check out the clean-up efforts. I went up to the guys from the Department of Parks and Beaches or whatever, and we started talking, and I asked if I could do anything to help. And they gave me some basic instructions, and I helped for a little while, and they gave me my own gloves and I was feeling very big as I picked things up, and they were just really entertained that this girl in a bikini was wandering among them, all "Oooh! Look, for I have found a tin can." And entertainment ensued.
ANYWAY. Like I was saying, entertainment ensued, until I went a little farther down the beach, and there I saw two little boys, like ten or eleven years old, standing in the debris. And I wouldn't have paid them much attention, except one of them was throwing stones at something in the rubble. And when I got a little closer, I saw that what he was throwing the stones at, was a bird.
A big fucking bird. Who was lying in the rubble, his head swiveling, terrified. But he couldn't move.
Now, I am not...um, awesome with dealing with children, as I don't really have a lot of experience with them, and at that moment I am embarassed to admit that I forgot that we do not cuss at children, because when I saw that little SATAN SPAWN throwing ROCKS at this clearly injured bird that had collapsed into the debris, all I could do was SCREAM, BANSHEE-LIKE, at them, and that is when I believe I said something like, "WHAT IN THE [CUSS WORD] DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING I AM COMING OVER AND I AM GOING TO [CUSS WORD] EAT YOU RIGHT NOW." And that is when they ran.
At this point, my good friends from the DPB came to "get my back," as the kids like to say, and they sneered at the rapidly disappearing backs of the little boys, who were totally scarred by my profanity and who will have to turn to the priesthood or monkhood immediately, because their lives are now forever tainted by My Crazy. And then I looked at the DPB guys and was like, "Uh, now y'all have to help me with this...bird thing."
And the guys from DPB were like, "...bird thing?"
And I explained that the bird was obviously injured, and we had to, you know, DO something, because it couldn't just sit stuck in the rubble for the remainder of eternity. And it especially couldn't sit there until the tide came in.
And they just looked at me, puzzled.
"Huh," said one of the guys.
"Go get him!" I urged, pointing at the bird.
"But...do you see his beak? That's a sharp beak. He will stab the bejeezus out of me with that beak."
"Stop being such a baby," I said, inching away, and hiding behind one of the other DPB guys. One of the bigger guys. "He's just a litle birdie. Go get him, I am SO SURE he will not stab you."
Then I had to hide my eyes, because it occurred to me that that bird WAS ABSOLUTELY going to stab the DPB guy, and I would have been responsible for sending him to a bloody death.
In the end, it took thirteen (THIRTEEN) DPB guys, plus me in a bikini, shouting instructions but otherwise being NOT AT ALL HELPFUL, to wrassle the poor bird into a bucket, with the bird squawking and hollering and snapping and poking the whole time, and yes, there was bloodshed, but it was not the bird's.
Once the bird was safely in his bucket, and he was looking out at us from a little hole in the top, FURIOUS, ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS, he was taken to a vet who specializes in birds, and who would not take any money to treat him, because the Bird was a Feathery Hurricane Victim, and the vet was just a very nice man.
Anyway, so the bird is fine. The DPB guys, however, hate me. They hate me so much. I am not allowed to play with them now, because they are afraid I will find another sad and bedraggled creature, and then they will all get stabbed some more.
Nobody likes to get stabbed, one of the guys told me. And he is absolutely right.
So, AFTER spending the morning with the poor DPB guys, I decided it was time for a cocktail, and I had one, and I went to offer some to the DPB guys, but they were all still gone to the vet with the birdie thing (we are saying it was a pelican, although it clearly is not a pelican. Readers! What the fuck was that bird? Its characteristics include blue eyes and a tendency to STAB PEOPLE with its sharp and pointy knife beak.)
So I wandered into the ocean to cool off, and I had not been in there for more than two minutes when I saw something swimming towards me. And that something was a shark.
Now, it was not a big shark. But IT WAS A FUCKING SHARK. I would like to say that he was ninety feet long and had seventeen inch teeth and that he was trailing body parts from his recent victims, but that would be A Lie, and lying is Wrong, so instead I will say The Truth, which is that he was probably four feet long, and he was probably a nurse shark, and nurse sharks do not like to eat you and will usually leave you alone. BUT IT SCARED THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.
And it scared the everloving shit out of the shark, too, who was zipping over towards me, just swimming along, la la la, until he got about five feet away and saw my body standing there, motionless. And if it was possible for a shark to shriek and run off, that is what this shark did. EEE! He said, in sharktalk. EEE, and then ZOOM.
Only, so now I am fascinated. I LOVED sharks when I was growing up, and I still remember a lot of their Latin names, even, and I know (I mean, logically I know) that they are more scared of me than I am of them, and so on. And so I was like, "COME BACK SHARKY!" and I started walking back and forth along in the surf (at this point, I had possibly wisely decided to go IN a little, meaning that now I was only in water up to my shins). And sure enough, the shark came back, and the two of us walked/swam together for about twenty minutes. During which time he did not decide to eat me, and for this I am eternally glad.
Also during this time, I decided that I would call my sister. Of course. This was the conversation we had:
Self: HEY WHAT'S UP I'M IN THE OCEAN.
Ziz: Awesome. I'll be there Satur--
Self: GUESS WHAT IS WITH ME.
Self: NO DUKAY GETS HERE NEXT WEEK GUESS AGAIN IT HAS TEETH.
Ziz: Um. Tom Cruise? Ann Coulter? A comb?
Self: NO A SHARK.
Ziz: THEN GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER OH MY HOLY GOD.
Self: No, he's kind of far away. Like ten feet away.
Ziz: WHAT IN THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WATER.
Self: No, hush. He's friendly! Like the sharks in Finding Nemo!
Ziz: OH MY GOD.
Self: I thought I would call and share this experiencAAAAAAHHHHH
Ziz: AHHHHHHHH DID YOU JUST GET EATEN?
Self: No, but he came over to me some. Oooookay, I'm just going to move back a liiiiittle biiiiiittt.....
Ziz: Move back onto the BEACH, you IDIOT.
Self: At this point, I am in water up to my ankles. I kind of doubt that he is going to manage to come after me here, unless he has little legs I am not seeing.
Ziz: You are...I mean, you are just unspeakably dumb.
Self: Ooh! Here comes Dad. Dad will come in here and look at the shark with me.
Ziz: Don't you DARE show that shark to our father, or he will go into the water WITH YOU, and he is a SENIOR CITIZEN, and you are both IDIOTS.
Self: Oh, pshaw.
Ziz: "Pshaw"? What is that, Yiddish? Get your ass out of the water.
Self: Dad! Dad! Come here and look at the shark!
Dad: WHAT? WHERE?
Self: Right there, see?
Ziz: DO NOT LET OUR FATHER INTO THAT WATER.
Self: Hush, you. Don't go telling mom.
Ziz: I am TOTALLY TELLING MOM.
Dad: I'm going in!
Ziz: AHHHHHH WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE.
Self: You're just jealous. The shark is awesome. He isn't going to AHHHHHHH
Ziz: Man, at this point, I HOPE that thing bit the living shit out of you.
Self: No, he just kind of...came towards us again.
Ziz: Oh. My. God.
Self: Aw, he's swimming away. Bye, Mister Shark!
Dad: Bye, Sharky!
Ziz: Hate you. Hate you so much.
So! That was my day. Between stabby birds and biting sharks, attempts to put wild animals in buckets and drinking by 2 p.m., I'd have to say that this vacation is shaping up nicely.