Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 2009 garden photos - link to the right

Perfect day....sitting on my porch blogging, reading the paper, drinking coffee...
Wish you were here.

New cute stuff on Dad's train layout!

Turtle rescue

And when we got to my parent's house their dog, Maddie, did not come greet us. Which is odd. I eventually sought her out and found her in the back of the yard trying desperately to dig a turtle out of a hole. The poor turtle was caught between thick ivy roots and plants and the chain-link fence. Maddie had dug a big hole and then the turtle was wedged half under the fence. I dug the poor thing out and then went and put him in a much safer location behind my parent's yard near some little pools of water.

And then we did finally get Chinese food from China Palace, which I was very excited about. And we even had leftovers to bring home which, due to a miscommunication between Jason and me, GRETA ATE. She's SO high on my shit list right now.

How cool is this?

I dug up some papyrus plant last weekend and this is what the tuber/root looks like. Each little stalk makes it's own little spirally doodad.

5 Second Rule

Yesterday Jason and I drove up to McComb to have lunch with my parents and visit. I wanted China Palace, of course. This is the best Chinese food in the world. Well when we got there, China Palace wasn't answering the phone so I ran inside the house to look up the number to make sure I was dialing it correctly.

And while I was standing at the counter I saw that they had an open bag of M&M's on the counter and because I love my parents and want them to be happy, I had to try one of the M&M's to make sure they were satisfactory for eating.

And I spilled some and one went on the floor.

And because my mother's floor is probably cleaner than anything in my whole house, I picked it up and ate it (ok ewwwww whatever. It was an M&M don't act like you wouldn't do the same thing.)

And that reminded me of a story my boss told me about his daughter's friend one time. The daughter and the friend were about 7 or 8 at the time, and the friend dropped something on the ground, declared "5 second rule! If it's been on the ground less than 5 seconds you can eat it!".

And my boss said "Where'd you hear that?" And the friend paused, and then said "I think it's in the bible."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

INFINITE JEST - finished. Plus some thoughts that for some reason seem to need to be heavily-and-probably-unnecessarily-dashed.

And.....I want to read it again.
It's unfinished and finished. It's exhausting and exhilarating. It's black and white. It's religion and addiction. It's war and atonement. It's coming-of-age and dropping out, tuning in, and turning on.

I think, however, that I need to let it settle in for about a decade and then maybe I'll read it again.

Several reviewers said that the book itself seemed to be only a loosely woven outline of a novel to provide a place for D.F.W to regurgitate everything that had ever passed through his mind. I what? It's his book. And thank GOD he had a place to write those amazing stories-within-stories before his demons got to him. (He committed suicide in Sept. 2008).
I have long been a fan of stream-of-consciousness writing. I don't need a structured beginning, middle, climax, nicely wrapped package of conclusions to get something out of a novel. In fact, Stephen King, if the conclusion doesn't come naturally, if you have to force it and pieces-parts it together to MAKE it end, then I'd really prefer you not bother.

There's no way D.F.W. could have ended this and handed the reader a neat little ribbon-wrapped gift box, and I'm personally glad he didn't try.

Am I exhausted from reading it? YES, but it's a good kind of exhausted. A kind of holy-crap-that-gave-me-a-lot-to-think-about exhausted, which is a kind I'm willing to accept. And no it didn't "End", but I also didn't finish reading it and feel gypped or unsatisfied in any way.

Would I recommend it to my friends? Very few. Not because my friends are smart enough or well-read enough, because most of you certainly are. But I think there are a certain few who would particularly appreciate the book for what it is, would particularly enjoy the hell out of the humor of it, and I would love to hear what you have to say about it. (SANDY this means you.)

The Bean's had a tough week

Last week, I took Schaffer to get his teeth cleaned and for them to check on a lump under his front leg.

Well, poor buddy! They had to pull SEVEN teeth. He's had several pulled before. We have his teeth cleaned at least once a year if not more, he just drew the short stick on dental stability. He still ate his dry food, but I gave him some canned food too and he thought he was in Shangrila.

We don't usually DO canned food around here. Schnauzer beards + mushy food = ewwwwwww

But my baby was hungry, and he doesn't STICK HIS WHOLE FACE in the food/ water bowl like some OTHER SCHNAUZERS who shall remain nameless *greta*.

And while they had him under the anaesthesia they took a biopsy of the lump and decided the cells looked a little funny, but they couldn't leave him under any longer that day so I had to bring him back this past Monday to have the lump removed.

Schaffer all woozy

And Monday evening he was SO pitiful. Woozy and couldn't get comfy. The incision isn't too bad and all the stitches are on the inside, but still. It's right in his armpit so you know that has to be sore.

He's pretty much been sleeping for 2 days but this morning he was much spunkier. And the lump was just a lipoma - they aren't concerned about it at all, which was great news. Hopefully my little buddy has many more years of dog-park playtime, beach vacations, and barking at the mailman ahead of him!

The Fine Art of Disapproval

Remember back when I was telling you about my friend Lauren's new bunny, Cookie?

And how sweet he is, but that I was sure he would be disapproving of many things in no time at all?

Well, Lauren recently sent me a new photo, and I'd say that Cookie hit the jackpot on the ability-to-note-disapproval genes.

He just looks plain-ole disgusted doesn't he? SO CUTE!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Neighborman starts soccer next week! I have been informed that I will have to come to games. Which are at 7.a.m on Saturday mornings.

Wait let me make sure you heard me right.


I don't do SEVEN A.M. This kid better know how cool I think he is when I drag my sorry ass out of bed that early ON A SATURDAY.

New soccer gear which he has agreed to wear even though it isn't camouflage:

Computer resolution

Short story:
Right after my last Alienware post, Jason filed a report with the AG and the BBB. And I called and made sure I knew the process for disputing the charges on my credit card.

And then I waited.

About 2 weeks later a woman called me, claiming to be "working on the BBB complaint directly with the CEO". And apologizing profusely for the time it had taken her to contact me but "they have me working on a lot of these right now"...

And so she told me that she wanted me to let her have them ship a new computer to her directly and let her "play with it for a few days" and make sure it works, and then send it to me. I asked her if she was kidding.

And she said well, they really wanted to keep me as a customer and blah blah blah and they would just go ahead and ship me one directly right now. And said uh....the only way I would even consider that was #1 if they would give me something in WRITING that if anything was wrong with it I could return it with no restocking fee and #2 I'd have to run it by Jason. And she said she'd have to run it by the CEO, and that she'd call me the next day.

Well she didn't call me the next day, but she did call the day after and said that the CEO wasn't willing to give me that guarantee, so they were going to just refund my money. ALL of it. No restocking fee. And after a couple of back-and-forth emails, I got it in writing.

So, basically Alienware finally did the right thing, but only after 1000 phone calls from me, Jason, and a complaint with the BBB. And they weren't willing to stand behind their product enough to send me a second one with a no restocking-fee guarantee. And I suppose I could say that Alienware FIRED me as a customer because I was too much of a pain in their ass.


I finally bought a super-fine-and-geekerific Gateway with the SAME VIDEO card as the Alienware one, a 17 inch monitor (the Alienware one was 15 inches), the extended warranty, MS Office 2007, a new digital camera, and the extended warranty for that, for $1200 CHEAPER than the Alienware cost.

Greta likes da new computer too kthx.

Drama on Tulip Street

Last weekend I was being nocturnal (as I often am) and at about 2:am I opened the back door to let Schaffer outside to potty. And....noticed that my neighbor's fence was on fire. Not a big fire, but still.

Jason was out in the garage so I went out there and said "Will you come look at this and tell me if you think I should call the fire department?"

And he looked at it, looked at the giant metal post/wire thing coming down from an electric pole right in front of the step, and said YEAH.

So I called the fire department, and they must have been seriously bored, because I think we ended up with 5 firefighters and an arson investigator. Which is actually legit, because we've had a series of car arsons in the neighborhood, so they wanted to document this in case it was connected somehow.

(arson investigator)
And he said it probably just spontaneously combusted because it was so rotten. There were no accelerants, and nothing that looked arson-y.
So...yeah that was the big excitement.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In the garden today

ok I'm experimentng with my new camera and weird angles. Here you can see the orange bulbine and the amaryllis.

Flax Lily bloom.

Amaryllis, variegated abutilon, giant ligularia in the back.

Wow I'm behind on posting.