I picked up some kind of spring bug…it hasn’t been that bad so far, but it’s got me down. I haven’t been sick since early last fall when I had a mild cold. The law of averages finally caught up to me, though. I stayed home from work today, mostly because I can’t stand when people go to work when they’re sick and spread their germs around for all the rest of us to breathe in.
On Friday I went to Philly to see Screeching Weasel on their reunion tour. They played most of the right songs, and they played them well, but it was all very mechanical. Ben Weasel exhibited asocial behavior during the show, never changing his expression and speaking to the crowd with a level of aloofness I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed from a punk rock frontman. I never saw SW back in the day so I don’t know if he always acts like that on stage, but having read Ben’s columns in MaximumRocknRoll, I always suspected he wouldn’t be the type to effectively demonstrate genuine enthusiastic gratitude to his fans. Sure, he thanked us and all, and maybe he was being sincere, but it seemed very cold and calculated. I told my friend afterward that I felt more like I’d just closed a business deal than watched a punk rock show. The Troc is a really nice place, though. I hope to see some more shows there in the future.
On Saturday, I lurked around out in the countryside all day, visiting flea markets and auctions, and liberating abandoned trees and shrubs from a nursery’s dumping ground. It was good times with old friends, and long overdue.
Last night I woke up at 3:40 AM and a robin was singing. I knew they started early, but I’d never heard them at that hour before. Interestingly, scientists in the UK published a study that showed urban robins sing later (or earlier) based on the levels of ambient noise they have to compete with during the daytime.
Meanwhile, migration is really heating up. The birding discussion list I subscribe to overflows with reports of returning warblers, while I am sick and/or have to go to work. NOT FAIR! Also, this time of year is rapidly becoming the one rare period where I sometimes actually wish I did own a car. Being city-bound seriously limits my birding options, and the easiest spots to bike to haven’t been that great so far this spring. Losing the hour or more necessary to ride somewhere farther away crimps my plans when the most productive time spent in the field is usually in the morning. I’m thinking that maybe next year I’ll just take the entire month of May off and go birding every day. That way I won’t feel so bad about missing so many bits and pieces of prime time.