Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parrots of Suburbia

Sunday morning, I woke up to these weird clicking, squawking sounds coming from outside my window. I look outside & see this:

"Is.... is that a parrot?..."

" sure looks like a parrot..."

& as it turned out, yes, it was a parrot. A bright green parrot. 

But there wasn't just one.
There were more.

There had to have been about 30-40 parrots around my house, eating the berries off the surrounding trees. It felt like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

I quickly snapped a few pictures before they suddenly jumped up & flew off into the distance, for no reason. 

My first thought was "What the hell are parrots (a tropical bird, mind you) doing up here in the cold New York winter air?" If they were migrating, where were they going? & where were they coming from? This has been pestering me for the past few days. 

Well apparently, as I found out later on from this site, these parrots actually do live up here, centered mostly in Brooklyn. There's a few theories circulating about where the parrots originally came from. Some say the parrots were shipped here from Argentina in the 60's & several escaped their crates. Some suggest that the birds were blown up here by Hurricane Gloria back in the 80's. It's even speculated that the parrots all came from the same mother & father, who widely (& wildly) reproduced. Whichever is the right reason, there's still a hell of a lot of parrots flying around. 

But something still bothers me. The pictures on the site show all little light green parrots with white faces, while the parrots I saw were larger, bright green parrots with red faces. Are these the same species of parrot, are they crossbreeds with other birds in the area, or are they not?Maybe a pet shop exploded, I don't know. At this point, anything is plausible.

Eitherway, the parrots seemed to have adapted to our cold climate & polluted air & made New York their home (I guess Frank Sinatra was right). 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Randy's Valentine

A brief cartoon I threw together for Valentines Day. Click on the link below to watch.

Randy's Valentine by ~FantasiaMan on deviantART

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Belated Xmas Thingy

While looking through the pictures on my computer, I found this image I forgot to post back during the holiday season.

For a long time, I promised my aunt that I'd make her something nice to hang on her wall, but I've been so busy with school that I never had the time to make something for her. Then Christmas was right around the corner, so I thought I'd finally make a nice drawing for her as a gift. 

Using what I learned in Howard Beckerman's storyboarding class, I colored a nice Christmasy picture on blue construction-like paper with some colored pencils & white charcoal pencil. Then I put it in a nice, shiny black frame. 

She liked it.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Achey Breaky Heart

Earlier this week, I re-caught my cold that I had a little while back , but something new had been added this time around: I started getting these mild yet unsettling chest pains. After a few days of discomfort, I took a little trip over to the nearest hospital, thinking that they'd check my blood pressure & my temperature, give me a few pills, tell me to rest up & send me on my way. Two, maybe three hours, tops.

Instead, I was told to put on a hospital gown & lay on a bed in the Emergency Room with about 35 screaming, crying, coughing, vomiting, bleeding, panicking & other unsettling people. I sat in bed for 10 hours, getting blood tests, EKG's & ECHO's (heart sonograms). After keeping me for a night & giving me non-straightforward answers, I finally found out what was wrong.

Due to some weird strain of the cold virus I caught, the protective sac surrounding my heart became inflamed (aka Pericarditis). In turn, the pericardium started to rub against my heart muscles, causing Myocarditis. That, along with the cold, was slowly tearing apart my insides. If I decided not to go to the hospital in the first place, my symptoms could've worsened I probably would have gone into cardiac arrest, heart failure & finally death. Sounds comforting, doesn't it.

My 2-3 hour tour of the ER ended up being a 4 day layover in the cardiovascular floor of the hospital. Pills & IV's out the wazoo, daytime television, interrupted sleep & sheer boredom were on my schedule for the next 72 hours. If I knew I was going to be stuck in a hospital for half a week, I would've brought books, my iPod, my laptop, whatever.... but no. All I had was a full clipboard, a few short pencils & the clothes on my back. & all the while, my stay kept getting extended, more pills were added to my daily regiment, indian-giver doctors & symptom scares were abound & my patience (which is something I usually have an insane amount of) was definitely wearing thin.

Over the course of those few days, I felt really miserable, depressed & lonely. I felt that I had failed my body & that I should've taken a lot better care of myself. I missed my friends, my family & my work. Drawing didn't even cheer me up. I had so much planned. So many things that needed to be done. So much I was looking forward to, all completely kiboshed. A big freaking SNAFU, all because of a sickness playing a wolf in sheep's clothing. Oh well, a wolf in sheep's clothing sounds a lot better in the long run than me playing possum... permanently. 

But it wasn't all bad, really. Overall, the doctors, nurses & assistants were really nice & kind to me. They even brought me some paper to draw on every once in a while. I caught up on some of my favorite TV shows I haven't had time to see. My parents got in touch with my class advisor, so my teachers know what's going on. I learned to text message a bit faster. I got three meals a day, plenty of well-needed sleep & when my body let me draw, I drew.

They finally let me go this morning, but I ain't out of the woods yet. I'll be missing a few days of school (which is a real shame because I always look forward to going to my classes) & I'll be taking 5 different pills for the next few months. 

I'll be taking it easy for the next week or so, then I'll be back on my feet in no time. But no too fast, my heart probably can't take it. Cheers!