I took an unscheduled break from blogging while making room in my life for the Jazz Festival. I saw the following concerts: k.d. lang, Pink Martini, Chick Corea, Bela Fleck, and Daniel Lanois. I thought they were all good.
The Jazz Festival is an entirely different creature than the Blues Festival or the Folk Festival. There wasn’t much of a festival atmosphere to it. It was very subdued, with limited food selections, almost no craft booths, a tiny CD tent, and no green initiatives (not even recycling bins!). Because almost everybody was over 40 years old, there were only chair people – no standers. Which meant that there were no chair wars, which is kind of a standard feature of outdoor festivals. From what I could tell, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of drinking or dancing going on. Cigarette smoking was banished to designated areas and I didn’t smell a single joint anywhere.
The music was good, the setting was okay, the porta-potties were clean, the food was adequate, the beer was excellent (Beau’s), and the acoustics were decent. But it just didn’t feel much like a festival. Since there wasn’t much to do, people tended to stay in their chairs and play with their phones.
What else is new? Well. Duncan lost some more weight. He’s down to 15 pounds now. He’s lost 10 pounds since I got him. Those prescription appetite enhancers really work. I never thought I’d have to worry about Duncan’s appetite. This morning he was on his fourth breakfast at 9:30! I guess the kidney disease is going to kill him sooner or later, but it’s vital he keeps eating. On the bright side, he seems happy enough. He still loves to snuggle and sleep and patrol the neighbourhood. The only thing left on his bucket list is catching Oboe.
Speaking of Oboe, I’ve been playing school with the birds every morning. I’m target training them. I have a little wand (a chopstick with its end painted red), and when they touch the end of it with their beak, I reward them with a safflower seed. So, for example, I say “Perch” and touch a perch with my wand. Oboe flies over, lands on the perch, touches the wand, and I give him a safflower seed. He’s my star pupil – he loves playing school. Simon likes it too. Even though African Greys are supposed to be the smartest of all parrots, so far this doesn’t appear to be true of my particular flock. Oboe’s a wickedly clever little lovebird, and Simon’s a sweet, daft baby Grey. Kazoo is shrewd. She won’t do anything for a safflower seed. If I want her to touch the wand, I have to show her a peanut first.
Recently we rented a van and went out to Kazoo’s old home to pick up her outdoor cage. It barely fit in the cargo van. It’s huge. Now Kazoo and Simon can spend some time outside each day which is very important for their vision and absorption of calcium.
Oboe could easily slip through the wire mesh of that cage. Simon can stick his head through it too so I can’t leave them alone out there even for a couple of minutes. I take Oboe out in his regular cage while the big guys share the big cage. We don’t generally stay out too long because I can’t handle the heat. Seriously. Hot muggy weather and hot flashes are a lethal combination. I feel like I’m a prime candidate for spontantous combustion.
Far better that I sit inside with the shades drawn, eating frozen cappuccino yogourt and fanning myself with a copy of Bird Talk magazine.