An artist’s rendition of my weekend.
Being the parrot enthusiast that I am, about five friends have sent me this video over the past few days:
Ok, I will admit it is funny. It’s amusing to watch parrots run in the same way it’s fun to watch Americans use chopsticks for the first time. But at the same time there is also something sad about this cockatoo’s tantrum. It reminds me of a passage in one of my favorite essays of all time, Parrots I Have Known, by Paul Bowles:
The next pstticine annexation to the household (in the interim came an armadillo, an ocelot and a tejon – a tropical version of the raccoon) was a parakeet named Hitler. He was about four inches high and no one could touch him. All day he strutted about the house scolding, in an eternal rage, sometimes pecking at the servants’ bare toes. His voice was a sputter and a squeak, and his Spanish never got any further than the two words perquito burro (stupid parakeet), which always came at the end of one of hs diatribes; trembling with emotion, he would pronounce them in a way that recalled the classic orator’s “I have spoken.”
This description of little Hitler almost brought me to tears of laughter the first time I read it, but after our amusement subsides, we should consider what kind of torment the parrots must have endured to lash out in such a grandiose effort of futility. In the cockatoo’s case, I suspect he is the frequent unwitting eavesdropper on domestic disputes. When he runs into the other room, you can make out a mumbled “I’m so angry!” How sad to be trapped in an environment where you are exposed to the stress-inducing warfare of two members of a different species. The consolation, however, is that you can hear the couple chuckling on the other end of the camera. Parrots, very emotionally attuned creatures, will often go to great lengths to improve their human companions’ moods. Perhaps this parrot discovered that by mimicking an argument while it seeded, he could effectively derail it.
I once traveled through the Sahara desert with one of the best photographers and amazing human beings I have ever met, Gabrielle Motola. She found it funny that I was always on my phone. Here is a brief view through her lens.
Just so nobody is surprised when I collapse from exhaustion/internet overdose, and also so you don’t think that I’m a bad friend or being lame for missing out on your really cool thing, here is a comprehensive list of what I am working on.
1) Running a publication with no startup capital, no personal funds, and a lot of empty promises from people who have pledged to help.
2) Collaborating with a developer to build website for said company.
3) Establishing an operating agreement that will allow me to continue to build my team, solicit investments, and distribute equity for said company.
4) Assisting lawyers in filing a trademark infringement suit against some irreverent 20-somethings who forgot to Google “LadyBits” before deciding to name their podcast the same thing.
5) Contracting assignment as the acting editorial director for a startup online counseling service.
6) Doing research and linguistic translation for a genetic testing startup pairing those suffering with cancer to clinical trials.
7) Writing an article about the multiverse for 538.
8) Preparing to launch a partnership between my company and a super cool media company, next week.
9) Editing content from five writers for said partnership.
10) Drafting two pieces of my own content for said partnership.
11) Writing a book proposal.
12) Figuring out the best way to send out 1099s to about 50 people who were paid out through my company in 2014.
13) Figuring out what the hell to do with 15 different 1099s for my own work over the past few years.
14) Helping people with various things they ask me for (introduction, recommendations, coffee, drinks, lunches, etc)
15) Trying to find a way to get out of bed every day and chip away at all of this, little by little.
If you have a cabin in the woods I can retreat to, want to rent my room so I can leave this cesspool and go somewhere warm to think, have an extra computer you want to donate, or would like to send some form motivation my way (words, drugs, GIFs), email me at justarikia at gmail dot com. I’d love to hear from you.
An artist’s rendition of me after today’s work binge.
Why is it that women aren’t supposed to have enemies, only oppressors? We can have cutesy competitions and petty rivals over men, or we can be under the thumb of some big bad force that we require saving from. But to acknowledge those people who have crossed us and held us back, those entities so inherently unjust that the knowledge of their continued existence activates a blood lust deep within that can’t be satiated until we see them flounder and fail… well, that’s not very ladylike.
When it comes to The Prisoner’s Dilemma, I much prefer a fair game. But let it be known, that if a bridge needs burning, I have no hesitation in striking the match.