Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What do you think?

Okay, so I'm working on this art .... thing, and I'm wondering: Where would a bird rather be? In the air? In a tree? On the ground?

What do you think?

Stuff I wonder about while watching summer reality TV reruns

1. Is Bret Michaels balding on top? If not, why does he wear that do-rag? Is it pre-emptive against the day he really IS bald?

2. What, exactly, does Jim Bob Duggar do for a living? And wasn't he running for office a while back? Did he win?

3. Does Gordon Ramsay ever get tired of throwing fake temper tantrums?
3a. Did any contestant ever tell him "Say it, don't spray it"? 'Cause that would be awesome.

4. Do any of these reality-show women with the giant fake boobs wonder what they're going to look like when they're in their eighties? With everything all, like, droopy and saggy and grandma-y, except for the GIGANTIC RACK O'BOOBS out front? See also: Tattoos. I mean, a tramp stamp on an eighty-year-old? Nobody wants to see that.

5. Am I watching too much TV? Never mind, I know the answer to that one.

Monday, August 30, 2010


The dead starling the cats had stashed under the bed Friday night was actually very much alive when I went to remove it, turning what I thought was going to be a body recovery into a live rescue.

And I'll tell you what, that's one tough bird, because judging from the evidence I found after the fact, I'm thinking it had been in the house since Thursday.

And this whole bringing-the-prey-into-the-house thing had better stop, pronto, or I'm nailing the pet door shut. Sheesh.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This week in history

A year ago this weekend, I was moving from my apartment into my first house.

We move shit hillbilly-style 'round these parts.

Hard to believe it's been a whole year. An ENTIRE YEAR since I've had to listen to someone else's cranking stereo at three in the freakin' morning.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Freaky Friday - Fungus Focus

Hahaha, that sounds like one of those hokey segments on NPR, doesn't it? "Coming up next - Fungus Focus!"

Anyhow, check out what I've got growing in my backyard:

Ignore the feet - they're just there for scale. The mushroom things look kind of like pancakes - I wonder if they're good with maple syrup on top?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recently Read

Skip it if you wanna.

1. Thank You For All Things by Sandra Kring. Novel about .... well, it doesn't really matter, because it was so formulaic. Take a character from List A, a situation from List B, and a funny character trait from List C. Blech. I never made it past Chapter 3.

2. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. Bo-ring! I gave it my best shot because it got good reviews, but gave up about a hundred pages in.

3. The Cracker Queen by Lauretta Hanson. Memoir. Interesting, if a little preachy toward the end.

4. Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson. Novel about a woman trying to escape her abusive husband. A fast-paced summer read.

5. The Killing Tree by Rachel Keener. Novel about a young woman who falls in love with a migrant picker - Good, if a little overwrought at times.

6. Roseflower Creek by J.L. Miles. Sample line: "Her face lit up like one them angels I seen on a pretty store-bought Christmas card MeeMaw gave me once." hahahahahaPASS.

7. A World Made of Fire by Mark Childress. Novel about a family, set in the early 1900s. Started out strong, then sputtered and stalled until I gave up about two-thirds of the way through. Meh.

8. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. Okay, I can't tell too much about this one without giving the plot away. The narrator was an adolescent boy, so it kind of came across as a YA novel, but it was still an interesting, quick read.

9. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton. Written in 1962, this was about a family and its secrets - Kind of dated, but still worth reading.

10. Addie Pray by Joe David Brown. Novel on which the movie "Paper Moon" was based. About a con artist and a young girl running scams in the thirties - very good!

Okay, that's it for now. Right now I'm struggling through "Lit" by Mary Karr, which is, by my count, her third memoir. I loved her "The Liar's Club", was a little less fond of "Cherry", and at this point, I kind of just want her to shut up about herself already. Sorry, but it's true.

Anything out there I should be reading?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

About this whole mosque thing ...

Look, I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, here, but I'm a little confused. Wasn't "freedom of religion" one of the things this country was founded on?

Yeah, yeah, some of the Muslims are terrorist extremists, and that sucks, but there've been some pretty shitty Christians over the years, too. Spanish Inquisition, anyone? And some tenets of the Muslim religion seem pretty strange, but hey, anybody take a look at Mormonism lately? I hear they have some kind of thing about holy underwear.

I just don't see what the problem is. If they want to build a place where they can worship their god, who cares if it's two blocks from Ground Zero? I mean, it's not like they're gonna walk over and try to blow it up again or something.

It's like with the whole Tea Party thing, which is basically people being scared of people who aren't like them. I thought we were past that shit, but apparently not. Hmmph.

Okay, that's my little Current Events thing of the day. Now scroll down, 'cause I need some help with windows.

I don't know what I'm doing

... I know, what else is new, right?

A couple of weekends ago I was scraping and painting some of the exterior window frames (get away from me, bees!), and I've come to the conclusion that the windows in the bedrooms are really beyond repair. The wood strips between the panes of glass are breaking apart, the windows themselves have an alarming tendency to come crashing back down after you've opened them, and the storms and screens are all akimbo, to the point that some of the storms don't even come off any more.

If I get them replaced by the end of the year, I can deduct 30% of the cost off next year's taxes, so I guess I'm going to take the plunge.

Here are some questions: What kind of windows do you have? Are they replacement windows? Do you like them? Is there a feature you wish they had? Are they vinyl? Wood? Did you hire a local contractor or a "window broker" type place to install them?

Hey! It's called "blog research", people! Totally legit!

Seriously, if you've got any opinions on the subject of windows, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yet another million-dollar idea

You know how when you have to give your pet a pill, and the pet is all, "p-touie!", "p-touie!", frantically spitting the pill back out? And then you have to grab the now-slimy pill and try to shove it back down again?

Someone should make treat-flavored pills for pets. Pills that taste like beef, or catnip, or mouse, or whatever.

You're welcome.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Update: Good News/Bad News Edition

The good news is, I got the lawn mowed on Saturday.

The bad news is, it took me half the damn day to get the mower started. Next time it pulls this shit, I'm gonna set it on fire.

The good news is, I discovered where the bees are coming from.

The bad news is, I discovered it when I ran over their ground nest with the lawn mower and was swarmed by yellowjackets. Those stings hurt. Anybody know where I can buy some napalm?

The good news is, after having the plumbing worked on, the washer is no longer leaking out of the stand pipe.

The bad news is, now it's leaking someplace closer to the floor.

The good news is, I didn't have to water the garden this weekend.

The bad news is, that's because it started raining buckets on Saturday night and has not yet stopped.

I think I'm just going to write this past weekend off and move on. How was your weekend?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Freaky Friday!

HA! You all thought I forgot, didn't you? I did not forget Freaky Friday! But first, you need to scroll down to read the thrilling! conclusion! to Blacktop Watch. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Okay. Everybody back? Here we go:

Remember the trophies I grabbed from the side of the road?

Well, I found a use for one of them - meet my new hood ornament:

I'll bet I've got the only Saturn wagon in town with an eagle on the hood.

Blacktop Watch: Day OVER

So, I got home from work last night, changed into shorts and a t-shirt, put some food down for the cats, and was just kind of puttering around, when I happened to look out my kitchen window and saw my neighbor B. in my backyard.


There he was, with a lawn chair and a beer, just hangin' in MY backyard.

What fresh level of hell is THIS?, I thought. IT'S NOT ENOUGH that he took over my driveway, now he's gonna take over my YARD? Oh, no. HELL, no. This is gonna stop RIGHT NOW.

I went out into the backyard.

"B.!", I said. "What're you doing over HERE?"

"Waiting to talk to you," he said. "About the driveway."

Just then I noticed his wife, L., heading over. And she was carrying a dish garden full of plants, and a couple of beers.

"We're going to start using our driveway tomorrow," B. said.

"Really?", I said, laughing. "Are you going to throw a party? Will there be balloons and clowns? Am I invited?"

B. laughed, and his wife handed me the dish garden and a beer. "We wanted to thank you for letting us park in your driveway," she said. And we all sat down and had a nice chat and beers.


After thirty-seven days*, the siege is over.

I have my driveway back!

*not that anyone's counting or anything. THIRTY. SEVEN.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Choir and Last Chance Highway

In my summer quest to watch every reality show on every station, ever, I came across "The Choir" on BBC America. It's about this dude in England who goes into an inner-city school and forms a choir to compete at the World Choir Olympics or some such bullshit.

The second season has just started and I haven't watched any of it yet, but I watched the first season and it cracked me up, because here's this poor choir dude, working his butt off to take a group of rag-tag kids and make them into a credible choir, and they workworkworkworkworkwork and finally get to the World! Choir! Olympics! In! China! and they take the stage and

they pretty much suck.

Oh, I mean, it wasn't horrible, but they were really pretty bad, and they didn't even make it past the first round.

Here's your life lesson, kiddos: You can workworkworkworkwork and STILL suck at life. Hey, better they learn it sooner rather than later, right?

Moving on, I caught an episode or two of Last Chance Highway, which is supposedly about animal rescue, but it's basically where this woman drives around with her husband and grabs people's dogs off their front lawns.

And if they're, like, "Excuse me! That's my dog!" She's all, like, "Oh, this poor little doggy needs a good new home! Let me take him with me!" And they're, like, "Hell NO, crazy lady! That's my dog!"

So yeah, that's pretty entertaining.

Oh yeah, and am I the only one who thinks L.A. Ink is pretty much played out? Frankly, I don't really give a rat's ass if Corey stays or goes, and I'm getting tired of Kat pulling that woe-is-me attitude all the time. Cheer up or go home, honey.

Coming soon: I review the TV Guide station. What else can I do? I'm running out of reality shows.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dudes. Duuuu-uuuu-uuuudes.

They. had. one. more.

Following Bridgett's excellent suggestion in the comments, I went back to the garden store last night to see if I could find out the name of the manufacturer, even though I knew there was no way I was going to pay the original ninety-dollar asking price. Maybe the manufacturer's trying to unload some, too, I thought. I stopped at the clearance tent before I headed inside, and there, in a corner, was one more birdbath. This one was thirty instead of twenty-five, because the stand was in better shape, and you'd better believe I snapped that bad boy up.

And you know what's weird? I'm not even that into birdbaths, or mosaic tile, or koi, but I saw this thing and it just sang to me. I needed it. Is that odd?

Here's Little Girl doing her Price-Is-Right-lady-modeling-the-merchandise thing:

She's not really that gigantor. It's just the angle of the pic.
Oh! Oh! And also, in the clearance tent? GIANT RATS:

Dudes. How awesome are those??? The garden center is discontinuing its Halloween extravaganza and was unloading all kinds of funky stuff. I picked up all of those awesome rats for under twenty bucks.

I'm the happiest girl in the world.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I live in the sticks

News item from today's local paper:

"Backhoe runs over man in (Local) County; buckets of marijuana found."

I'm a little curious about the "buckets of marijuana" thing - I mean, why would you have bucketfuls of pot? Don't you usually keep it in baggies? Unless maybe it's harvest time. Or maybe they were growing the pot in buckets? Hmmm.

Reminds me of the time, years ago, when a local teacher called the police because his house had been broken into. Trouble is, he neglected to get rid of the many, many pot plants he had growing in the backyard before the cops showed up to investigate the break-in.

He doesn't teach school anymore. Last I knew, he was working as an x-ray tech, which, come to think of it, probably pays as much as being a teacher, so all's well that ends well, right?

Be sure to scroll down to find out if the electrician showed up!

He Showed!

The good news is, he showed!

The bad news is, he only finished about half the work.

The good news is, he left a note saying that he'll come back today to finish up!

The bad news is, in the note he requested that I leave him a check for the full amount we agreed upon.

My fraaaaaaynd, I am not leaving you a check for the full amount when only half the work is done.

So! How to be diplomatic? I left him a note saying I did not feel comfortable leaving a check on the table, seeing as how I'd left a door unlocked so he could get in, and that he should call me when he's finishing up and I'll bring him a check.

Fair? I think so. Let's see what happens!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Did he or didn't he?

... show up, that is.

The independent electrician that I hired off craigslist was supposed to start work this morning. But given my history with itinerant tradesmen, I will frankly be surprised if I find him there when I get home tonight.

You see, there's a reason why people go off to work for themselves. It's because they can't hold a job in functioning society.


It's true.

I have never, ever hired an independent repairman who wasn't at least slightly off in the head. Just a few degrees off-kilter, if you will.

And frankly, I don't care if you're crazier than a shithouse rat, if you can competently solve my home-repair problems for a fair price.

The problem? These guys tend to have attendance issues. If you can get one to show up on a promised date, it's like a f*cking miracle. Once you actually get them to the job site, you're golden, as long as everything can be done in one visit, because getting them to come back again once they've left for the day can also be a problem.

So did he or didn't he?

I'm about to find out.

The weekend in pics

Little Girl, getting ready for her closeup:

I'm ready, Mr. DeMille:

Froggie went a'courtin', he did ride, mmm-hmmmm, mmm-hmmmm:

Water snake sticking out its tongue:

Mama deer with a spotted fawn:

She actually had twins, but I couldn't get them all in the frame together.

You guys, I went to a tent sale at a local garden center on Saturday, and they had this gorgeous birdbath, with a mosaic tile inset of a koi fish and a lily pad, and it was marked down to twenty-five bucks, and I was going to buy it, but I wanted to look at some other stuff real quick, and some lady had the NERVE to buy it before I could! And thinking about it later, I was SO MAD I was literally stamping my feet, all, "that was MY birdbath, dammit!" Grrrrr. It was the LAST ONE they had, too. Dammit. I almost went after the lady in the parking lot, to see if she'd take thirty for it, but that's just crazytalk.

So I went shopping yesterday for a birdbath. BECAUSE I WILL NOT BE DENIED. I didn't find one like the one that got away, though. So if anybody knows of where I can buy a birdbath with a mosaic tile inset of a koi fish and a lily pad, let me know, okay?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Freaky Friday!

First, scroll down if you want to hear the scintillating details about yesterday's doctor's appointment. No? Okay. On to Freaky Friday.

Remember the elephant lunchbox from a few weeks ago?

Allow me to present the elephant hat:

You can't really tell from the pics, but this hat is fabulous. The elephants are made of sequins, and all the scroll work is done with metallic and beaded thread, with additional sequins thrown in for good measure. It weighs a LOT.

Will I wear it? Depends on how drunk you get me.

Survey SAYS ....

... poison ivy. Or poison oak. Or possibly poison sumac. Definitely poison something. Something that brushed against my skin.

See that? My friends know as much as the doctor! Heh. Kidding, doc. JUST KIDDING.

Anyhow, it's not MRSA or some other flesh-eating monstrosity, which is all I needed to know. The doc gave me a prescription for steroid cream, which, you guys, if you thought I was cranky BEFORE, just wait until I start absorbing steroids through my skin, is all I'm sayin'.

Oh! Oh! And guess what? The doctor called my sock-as-bandage getup ingenious! HAH! I am ingenious!

Or, you know, insane. Either way.

Stay tuned - I'll try to get a Freaky Friday up a little later.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A letter to my dermatologist

Dear Dr. Romeo Morales:

Hi! Remember me? I've been a patient of yours for, gosh, at least three or four years now. Time flies, doesn't it? And in just a few months I'm scheduled for my yearly check-up.

Here's the problem, doc - I've got this rash. I've had it for well over a week now, and it's not getting any better; actually, it's getting worse. What was just a nuisance is now extremely painful and a little bit worrisome, what with all this talk about MRSA and all. I really didn't want to have to go to a doctor for this, but I guess it's time. Seeing as how you're my dermatologist, I thought it might be a good idea for you to take a look at it, and because I've been a patient of yours for a while, I was pretty sure I wouldn't have any problem getting an appointment to see you.

So imagine my surprise when I called your office yesterday, and your receptionist bluntly told me that you didn't have any openings until October, and that I'd better go to a walk-in clinic.

HahahahahaNO. I'm not going to a (trying very hard not to swear here) flippin' walk-in clinic, to a doctor I've never seen before in my LIFE, when I have doctors whom I know.

So I called my primary care physician's office, and guess what? He'll see me at 3:45. TODAY. Not October.

Dr. Morales, it pains me a little bit to say this, but you know what? I don't think you're going to be my dermatologist any more. What good does it do to have a doctor who can't see you for MONTHS when you have a problem? What's the use in that?

So, you know, I'm probably gonna cancel that appointment for the check-up. You know, the one in December. Let's see, it's August now, so that's, hmmmm, FOUR MONTHS' NOTICE. Is that far enough ahead for you? No? Too bad, doc. Too bad.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Put a sock on it

Warning! Discussion of gross medical stuff ahead!

You've been warned.

Okay, so the creeping crud continues to vex me. According to trained medical professionals (i.e., my friends) who've been brave enough to take a peek, it's poison ivy. Or poison sumac. Or possibly poison oak. Definitely poison something. Okay, okay, so they're not really trained medical professionals, but they're all I've got, unless I want to pony up a forty-dollar co-pay at the dermatologist, which, NO, not unless parts start falling off or something.

Here's the main problem at this point: Bandages do not stick to me. Nor does adhesive tape, or cloth tape, or basically anything that's supposed to stick to your skin. They don't stick to me.

I don't KNOW why, okay? Maybe I'm made of Teflon or something. It really presented a problem back when I was having some moles removed and the dermatologist resorted to what amounted to industrial-strength glue to affix the dressings, which worked GREAT until it came time to have the bandages removed, and the top layer of my skin came off along with the dressings. Whoops! Live and learn, Mr. Dermatologist.

Anywho, I've been jury-rigging bandaids and bandages and gauze and everything else you can think of for the past WEEK trying to keep the creeping ooze covered, until I finally hit on a solution. I cut off the foot-part of a crew sock and pulled the leg-part up over my arm. TA-DA! I'm a genius! Patent pending.

Which left the spots on my upper legs, which, I KNOW, how did the crud get on my freakin' THIGHS? Some questions, my friends, are better left unanswered.

I'd rig up a patchwork of extra-large bandaids, slap it on my leg, and watch as it fell to the floor. *sigh* But! Last night, in the middle of the night, I had a moment of clarity: Long johns. I cut the upper-leg parts off a pair of long johns, rolled them over the bandages, and voila! No more falling bandaids.

I'm waiting for the MacArthur Genius Award people to call any day now. I'm gonna be rich! Or, you know, just covered with sock- and long john-parts. Either way.

But wait ..... what's that you say? Ace ..... Ace bandages? That you just wrap around an arm or leg and fasten?

Holy shit, you guys, I'm an idiot. I have an entire collection of Ace bandages, thanks to various sprains and strains over the years, and it never occurred to me until just now that you could use an Ace bandage as, well, a BANDAGE.

Shit. I don't think the MacArthur people are going to be calling after all.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The reality show even I can't watch -

"Confessions: Animal Hoarders" on Animal Planet.

The other night, I settled in for some quality *cough* TV viewing: Back-to-back episodes of Animal Hoarders.

The first show started, and it was all about this woman who lived in a trailer with fifteen cats and

ninety-seven dogs. In a trailer.

It was filthy. It was disgusting. Those dogs were pooping and peeing everyplace, and lots of them were crammed into cages, and the cats were practically walking on the ceilings trying to get away from the dogs, and

I couldn't watch it. I just couldn't.

Because you know what's gonna happen: The woman's relatives will stage an intervention, and she'll agree to give up most of the dogs, if she can only keep one or two or twelve, and they'll get the trailer all cleaned up, and you know damn well that if the cameras went back a month or two later, she'd have the place filled up again with dogs and cats and poop and pee.

Look, I don't pretend to know what's wrong with these people, but I just don't see how putting them on national tv is doing any good, particularly since from what I've read about hoarding, there doesn't really seem to be any cure for it. You just go in every once in a while with a hazmat unit, scrape the shit off the walls, try to get some of the animals new homes so they have some kind of a chance at a decent life, and wait for it to cycle up again.

I can't watch it. It makes me angry, that someone could possibly think they were doing those animals a favor, somehow saving them, by cramming them into filthy, grossly overcrowded conditions, and it makes me sad for the animals.

I mean, why can't those people just volunteer at shelters, for Pete's sake? They could be around all the animals they wanted, and they'd actually be doing some good, instead of turning their home into a giant crap pile.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Just because it cracked me up

Courtesy of failblog.

Be sure to scroll down for Freaky Friday!

Gross medical update: I woke up at four this morning in a full-blown panic attack, convinced that I was going to end up in the hospital thanks to the creeping crud and that they were going to have to cut off my arm.

Thanks, The Ruins!

Nothing's much better, but nothing's much worse either, except for the fact that I was in the shower this morning and looked down, and the skin was sloughing off my arm in little sheets.

It's gonna be a long weekend.

Freaky Friday - Office Edition

This dude works for an appliance repair store around the corner from my office.

I think of him as Kiltdown Man. {groan}

Honestly, I've got a lot of respect for this guy. We work in a fairly tough part of town, and if he's got the nuts to wear a skirt to work, more power to him.

I was gonna ask him about the whole underwear thing, but I figure he probably gets that a lot.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Movie Review: The Ruins

So, I was flipping through channels yesterday before Carmen came on, and I saw that FX was showing "The Ruins". I'd read the book a while back, and thought I'd check out the movie.

*Spoiler ahead*

Okay, so the premise of The Ruins is that these people are exploring some, well, ruins, and a vine-type thing starts attacking them by, like, invading their bodies. Like growing into their skin and shit.

This movie was probably not the best choice for someone who currently has alien, running sores on her body. Ahem. But as it turns out, it really didn't matter, cause I happened to tune in right at the part when the dude decides he's gotta cut the other dude's legs off, but first he's gotta break the bones, so he picks up this great big rock and lifts it over his head and

yeah. That's as far as I got. I actually got up and turned away from the TV and covered my ears and went lalalalala so I couldn't hear any, you know, screaming or anything, and then I walked back to grab the remote to turn the TV off with my head turned to the side, blindly groping, so I wouldn't accidentally see any images on the screen, and that's why I'll never make it as a movie reviewer.

Okay! Moving on to TMI land! Gross shit ahead!

You've been warned!

The spot on my arm is oozing yellow crud at an alarming rate, despite liberal applications of neosporin. I woke up this morning with two more spots on my leg that are all bumpy-like and are probably going to erupt into gross at any moment. I feel like the very first character introduced in a very long Stephen King novel.

Googling revealed that impetigo is evidently usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, which is sadly missing in my life right now. And poison ivy, well, isn't poison ivy itchy? These spots aren't itchy at all, they just sit there and ooze ....

Okay, now I've grossed myself out. If you don't see any more posts up here, well, prepare for the apocalypse, because I am evidently the alpha case in some horrible new disease. Heh. kidding.

I hope.

If I ran the flower shop

Because I'm a jerk.

In other news, did anybody catch "Carmen" on PBS last night? I'm not really a big fan of opera, although I do listen to it on the weekends when it comes on NPR and I'm too lazy to change the station, but I've always loved "Carmen", probably because I saw "Carmen Jones" (the 1954 version) as a kid and it amazed me. I didn't learn until much later that they totally redid all the lyrics.

So! I was going to watch a little bit of Carmen and then switch to something else, but I turned it on, and holy SHIT that Elina Garanca is HOT.

Did you guys see her? I mean, I'm as straight as they come, but there was no denying that she is one hot woman. You just can't take your eyes off her. What a performer! and HOT. I ended up watching almost the whole damn thing.

Okay, that's my little girl crush for the day. I'm not the only one, am I? Who else has girl crushes? Fess up.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Chapter Twelve, in which I alienate my remaining readers

Warning: Discussion of gross medical symptoms, coming up!

I mean it!

You've been warned!

Okay, so Monday at work, the inside of my forearm started itching. I looked down, and there was a raised red area about a half inch long by an inch-and-a-half wide. By yesterday, little teeny-tiny blisters were forming. By today, the area was starting to get, well, {upcoming grossness YOU'VE BEEN WARNED} crusty, and when I accidentally-totally-on-purpose scratched some of the crust off, yellow-ish liquid came out.


Am I dying? Have aliens laid eggs in my skin? Am I contagious?! Come'ere, lemme give ya a hug.

I had to go to my doctor today for something totally unrelated*, and she took a look at it and thought it looked like an allergic reaction. I think it looks like a really pissed-off spider crawled up my sleeve and fanged me up.

Any ideas?

*annual lady-parts check-up. GOD.

You be the judge

I did a favor for a friend of a friend last week, and she sent me flowers as a thank-you. Nice, right? Except ......... well ...........

And here's the thing - she picked that bouquet out.

Is it just me? Because I think it's damn creepy. Not as bad as a black-silk clown painting, but in the same general league. I do not want my flowers looking back at me.

Here's a pretty flower, just to even things out:

Hollyhock, taken this morning.

So! Do you think the flower-face thing is cute? Or creepy? 'Cause I think it's just plain wrong.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This is what happens when you let the gas boys on your land

Right now there is a huge controversy here in upstate over gas companies using hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking", to force natural gas from an underground foundation known as the Marcellus Shale.

While some individuals, towns, and counties are selling the gas rights to their properties as fast as they can, others are taking a more cautious approach, saying the DEC (Dept. of Environmental Conservation) needs to do more research into the drilling before allowing the gas companies to start work. In other parts of the country where this type of drilling has been utilized, there have been all sorts of problems with contaminated water, increased illness rates, and other nasty stuff.

There is an undeveloped park a couple of miles down the road from me, and the town has sold the gas rights for the park to a gas company. The DEC hasn't even given approval to start drilling yet, but the company who bought the rights has evidently already started work there, judging by some pics I took the other day.

This used to be a pretty little footpath winding through the woods:

Yeah. Think twice, people, is all I'm sayin'.

Monday, August 02, 2010

I am not worthy

I was at the library the other day, and I decided to get out some magazines along with the books. Looking through the magazine stacks, I picked out a gardening magazine, and "Taste of Home", because they might as well have named that one "Cooking for Dummies with Five Ingredients or Less", and, let's see, I grabbed an "Outside" magazine, and, finally, a "Harper's".

Have you all ever read "Harper's"? Because I hadn't. And the reason, as it turns out, that I have never read "Harper's" is because I am, evidently, too stupid to understand the articles.

Seriously, that magazine is hard-core intelligent.

I mean, I like to think that my reading-comprehension level is fairly high. I also like to think that I'm a reasonably intelligent person. But I swear, I started trying to claw my way through the articles in that magazine and my brain was all, like, "owwwwww. Stop itttttttt. It hurtzzzzz."

In a way I'm glad that there's a magazine for people who are, evidently, a billion times more intelligent than I. (Or is that "Than me"? Oh noooooooooo.) And it's given me a new thing to put on my goal list: Make it through an issue of Harper's and understand all the articles.

Hey, a person can dream, right?

In other news, I made an ill-advised attempt at conquering a gigantic banana split on Saturday. *urp* Seriously, I thought I'd lost my taste for soft-serve completely after trying to scarf down that monster. Until Sunday, when I ate more ice cream. There's something wrong with me.