Sunday, June 28, 2009

No Tears

Am I the only one who isn't broken up over the death of Michael Jackson? It's sad when anyone dies, sure and the famous ones get the press. I can deal with that. But why is NPR doing three days worth of coverage on the "King of Pop," - self proclaimed king, no less - and the newspapers headlining every section with images and whatnot, when three other, just as famous and and just as sadly dead, celebrities are shoved to page three?
I admit to not being music savvy in the technical department, but do we really need to skip over the death of other famous peoples just because he slid backwards on his feet, grabbed his crotch and squealed?

This is me, not crying on street corners.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Silly Jane

I totally thought an all day stint with Tarzan's grandfather would be like all the afternoons I spent with him in April and May, only longer.
Boy was I wrong.
First let's start with the fact that 7a.m. - exactly as early as that sounds for a person who hasn't had to get up at any particular time for over a year - does not actually start at 7a.m. for either me or GOM (the new acronym for Tarzan's grandfather) There's my neurosis where I wake up half a dozen times in the night to make sure that I didn't miss the alarm. WHAT is WITH that?! There's his neurosis, which one might call old age, after going to bed at 10 p.m., he wakes at 4, 5, 6, 6:10 and then 6:30. And he wants help right then because he doesn't always remember what that hour means to the rest of us. And there's Tarzan's neurosis that lets him get up at five - FIVE! - 5a.m. all year for school, but can't budge an inch at 7 with GOM yelling up the stairs that he needs a new diaper.
Did I mention that Tarzan is down here with me for the next three weeks? I thought having him with me would be a benefit. Two people, half the work, share the burden and all that. Right?
Not so. It's more like having to feed, monitor and entertain two small children with narcolepsy. Picture the look on my face when I walked into the room at 9am, after the debacle that was breakfast - apparently my eggs are much too dry and "the Cream of Wheat was 100 times too thick" - and found both of them laying back in their chairs, totally zonked out and drooling out of the corners of their mouths. If only I'd had my camera, everyone's money problems would be solved. So entertaining.
And they're sleeping again which is how I am able to type this now.

This is me, day one of twenty-one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The $4000 Neighbor

Turns out it's not so bad living in The Jungle after all. I've written about our neighbors previously and while that is all still true it's not the whole story. Tarzan just finished a three hour stint in the side yard, first with the Roto Rooter man and then with one of the neighbors, fixing the water pipe connection for the house.
Funny story.
We were getting ready to go out this morning, I being slower than Tarzan caused that he had time to spare and went to the front of the house to water the lawn and the pipe that leads to the main water supply in the street started leaking, and not a drip drip drip situation but a hissing, spraying sort of situation.
So we shut the water off completely - disturbing the nastiest cockroach I have ever seen - and called the plumber peeps. His estimate was "$895 for the first two hours and then $450 for every hour after that."
The time estimate was four to six hours.
They were suggesting ripping out the concrete that is adjacent to the house, following the pipe to the street and replacing the whole deal.
Yikes, that's a lot of work and dough, but what choice did we have? We've got to have water.
No, no says one of the neighbors. Just dig down in an arc around the pipe, cut the pipe below the leak, get a coupling, a new pipe and there you go.
Okay. But we are not that daring. Nor that trusting in our own abilities.
Lemme hop the fence then, and show you how it's done.
Two hours later and we've got water and no leak.
Is it neat and pretty? No. Is it likely the way the building department would want it done? No. Is it the way Fleighund would have done it? No
Did it work and did it save us about $4000? Yes and yes.
In fact, our neighbor wouldn't take money. We had to practically force him to take a plate of cinnamon rolls. "It's what neighbors do," says he. I know a few countries who could take notes.

This is me, not so resentful of the neighborhood anymore.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making Some Progress

Tarzan and I are as concerned about global warming and self sufficiency and green living as the next couple. We just aren't as speedy in our reaction as maybe those other couples. We have finally got something done about growing our own food. I know, it's June, but since we live in The Jungle and don't really have a "winter," per se, or even a frost, there's no hurry to start the planting in March, or even May. So it's June and we finally planted some vegetables.
We didn't just plant vegetables.
We planted our vegetables in our new Topsy Turvy Tomato Planters. The whole concept of upside down wasn't what caught our attention, but the space saving aspect. We live in the middle of The Jungle. Our lot is 30' x 110' the house is approximately 800 sq. ft., the shed in the back is another 81 sq.ft and we don't have a driveway or garage - the lot is too narrow according to the city mandates - so we have to park both cars in the backyard. This greatly reduces the amount of space we have for a yard, let alone a garden or anything. We've managed to squeeze two fruit trees into the front yard but they can only be so close. The space constraint has been a conundrum for as long as we've lived here. But these hanging planters might be the solution. If the first two work out Tarzan has ideas of hanging them off the eaves all along the south side of the house which could be really cool. Of course I'd have to remember to water them every day...
Nevertheless, we got the first two up yesterday and we're kind of excited about it. It's certainly not as easy - or clean - a process as the infomercial would suggest but we managed. Getting the tomato seedlings into the planter was an interesting process - did you know that tomato stems are EXTREMELY brittle? I did not so oops - so hopefully we didn't kill it completely.
This is how the tomato looks now:
And the cucumber one:
You know how I love to document progress of things so I am sure there will more pictures as the summer goes along.

This is me, with some veggies later this year, maybe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tree Me People

Internet peoples, you're all so much smarter than me. I ask a question in the hopes you have the answer, for I do not.
Is my apricot tree normal?
It's really put on some growth this spring. This was last year:This is yesterday:
And I know it looks that way, but it's not leaning at all. The trunk is straight and then a funky branch comes out of almost the top, but not quite:
In fact a number of the branches join at what I would consider odd angles:
My real question though, is can you tell me why branches are growing on only one side of the trunk:
And then, why are leaves growing only at the end of some branches:

I'm not sure if I should let it continue to grow out or if I should prune something off, but what would I cut? There haven't been any blossoms this year or last - should there be?

This is me with a wild an crazy tree.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Then They Wonder Why She Pulled Out An Axe

I realize that autism is a real thing. It has to be really frustrating for the families and the individual being unable to communicate the way they want to. I feel for all of those involved and I support any methods that help people function.
I also know that Attention Deficit Disorder is a real thing. And for a lot of people who can't concentrate, can't focus, can't hold a job, the medicine does help. I certainly know the benefits of medical research and I am all for treating a disorder/problem/disease with a methodology that works.
But do not, DO NOT, tell me that your kid needs drugs/therapy/ just because they won't do as you say. Let's take an example of a situation I am tangentially familiar with. An "undocumented" alien I see periodically, has three kids, all by different, absentee fathers. She doesn't have a job, her phone number changes monthly, she can't get anywhere on time and when she does come to an activity she spends her time telling her kids to leave her alone so she can talk to the grown ups, or she lavishes attention on the baby and ignores the older two children. The older two have personalities now, you understand, and talk back to her, refuse to obey, throw tantrums, act out and generally be kids whose parent(s) is ignoring them. They have no father, no security, they don't eat healthily, the kids don't get enought sleep, they aren't doing well in school and they get no attention unless they are so irritating that their mother has to notice them. Does she take any of this into account? No. No, she does not. She has them both tested for autism and ADD and ADHD and when the results are negative she gets second opinions. And third opinions. And then talks about how the health care system is not helping her.
Why does it never occur to people that their kids are monsters because they SUCK AS PARENTS?

This is me, and nothing - NO THING - bugs me more than people who blames their kids for their own shortcomings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

500th Post

Who knew there was so much random crap in me that I could produce 500 posts in 31 months. What does that work out to...16 or so per month? That's nearly one every other day; Go me!
In way of a celebration I ought to come up with a really memorable post or do something flashy...shouldn't I?
While I'm thinking about that, discuss amongst yourselves the really weird dream I had last night, or rather, early this morning. This time it was a family gathering, and apparently Danny Masterson (of That 70's Show) was Tarzan's brother. He was filling the place of QC, Tarzan's brother in real life. This is definitely NOT my usual type of guy. I think we've determined that my type of celebrity crush is nerdy, well groomed, and built. Danny is none of those:
His hair alone gives me the creeps. Not attractive at all. But he was in my dream since the whole thing revolved around us finding places to make out. We would start the kissing and then get interrupted by the phone or the door or the rain - indoors? - or other totally random stuff, like my having a head cold which was odd, and when one of us went to take care of the problem the other would wander away and we'd have to get organized again. My mother - don't ask what she was doing there since it was Tarzan's family - ran a radio station and was taking care of the kid in the studio while we were working on other things and we'd have to stop by periodically - on commercial breaks - to discuss things that I don't remember now. We must have done the circuit a half dozen times or so. The dream didn't really end, I sort of dissolved out during one of the interruptions and woke really disconcerted and out of place. I hate when the line between dream and life blurs. A minor consolation is that he was a good kisser...Any thoughts - any at all - as to what the *@^%$## is going on in my mind?
(We did spend some time with Tarzan's family - to see Grandpa who is amazingly hearty considering - last Sunday, but QC wasn't there and there was no kissing at all by anyone.)
The dentist's automated call service rang this morning to mention that they hadn't seen me in a while and did I want to schedule an appointment. I am really beginning to wonder about the record keeping abilities of this new place, though they do good work. I have had zero issues with the new crown. It's like it's not even there, and I appreciate that.
And while we're on the subject of my health care providers, I went to the ophthalmologist yesterday. He is a very different sort of doctor to all the rest that I have. They're all friendly and matter of fact, but the others stick to medical topics, except for my general physician, the one I have to see for a referral to the specialists, he mentions outside life once in a while. But my ophthalmologist is very political and direct and outspoken. First time I ever saw him, he walked in and asked what I thought about gun control. Not a hello, or a check to see if I was the right patient even, just, what did I think about gun control. Once I went in December, so I was wearing my Santa hat, which has USC on the front, and Trojans on the back. As the door is behind the patient chair, he thought I was advertising a very different corporation. The first time we met, he caught me off guard and I'm sure he thought I was a brainless chick, but now I know what to expect and I can give it back as well as he, so we had a nice chat yesterday about socializing medical care and what the new president is able to do about it and he had what I thought was an interesting idea - mostly because it had crossed my mind before - and how we could fix all the country's problems if a good person could be dictator for six months and set all the systems up that would make the people cared for and efficient and then let it go back to a democracy once everything was working well. As an aside, my eyes are great and he's really surprised considering how long I've been a diabetic and keep it up, thanks, see you in a year. He's a kick.
Big news! Stephanie J. Block's CD is finally out! It's called "This Place I Know" and I don't think I can tell you how excited I am. I reeeeally want to just buy it right now so I can have it, but then if I wait, someone will give it to me for my birthday or Christmas and that will solve many dilemmas all at once. Decisions, decisions.

This is me, mentioning nearly every subject of my 500 posts at least once today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weird Dream #28

Last night I dreamed about Michael Shanks. It was the first time he'd been in one of my dreams. (We have been watching Stargate SG-1 for many months and I was a little surprised he hadn't surfaced in my subconscious regurgitation before now.)
There were four of "us" girls, one was apparently ATL's roommate from That School on the other side of town, though I called her ATL, and I didn't know the other two at all, but they were best friends. There were two guys, one was Michael Shanks, the other occasionally bore a resemblance to Jeffrey Donovan (from Burn Notice and another hot guy who could easily go on my list:
But I'm not sure or I would have been far more torn between the two than I was, and I was definitely in the Michael Shanks camp. We were in an apartment at a college somewhere and the two girls I didn't know were vying for the affections of the two guys. My "friend" and I spent most of our time as observers of the drama between the other four. Each girl got herself engaged to the other girl's preferred guy - and the guys wore the engagement rings which I thought was weird in my dream though everyone else figured it was normal - and spent their time trying to make them jealous enough over it to declare a truce. There was a third guy, a disreputable individual I didn't know, watching the whole tableau from a mezzanine in the apartment. When I went into the kitchen he was there too, watching, but when I went to sit on the toilet - also in the kitchen, don't ask me why - I yelled at him and he ran away. After what seemed like a long time, Michael Shanks got bored with the games and laid down on the couch. I figured this was my chance to at least talk to him without the others around and just as I sat next to him, ready to run my fingers through his hair - rather forward of me for a first encounter - I woke up.
Tiniest bit annoyed at my brain for ruining what could have been an excellent dream.
This is me, dreaming as oddly as ever.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tony Awards 2009

I'm thinking of adding this guy to my list:
Cute, funny, and he sings. What more could a girl want?
All in all it was a good show. Angela Lansbury won, which is awesome. She's awesome. Lauren Graham's dress was excellent. (Did I mention Lauren is doing Broadway now? So weird. She's not bad, but it was a total shock to see her get up there.) The entire cast of Hair was insane - though I really liked Rock of Ages - Shrek was a little too green for me, and Billy Elliot won all over the place. Not too many weird speeches or political rantings. Or if there were then I fast forwarded through them.

This is me, and the closing number from the Tony Awards was my favorite. Hands down.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Get There On Time

I'm totally days late with this, but apparently the President of the United States took the First Lady to New York for dinner and a show. They flew from Washington to New York on Air Force One, had the local police hold up traffic, the Secret Service bodyguards case all the joints for potential terrorists, the whole nine yards. And all over the country people are complaining about how much money it cost the taxpayers, how he's a hypocrite OR they're all dewy-eyed about how romantic it it after all these years they still have dates and spend time together, blah, blah, blah. My beef is this; with all the resources at his disposal, all the personnel who look after his life, all the many people who worked to make his date a success, why the heck couldn't they get to the theater on time?! The First Couple held up the show for FORTY-FIVE minutes. That is completely rude and totally unacceptable in my opinion. Nothing bugs me more at a show than to see people trickling in late. Traffic schmaffic. Eat faster and get there on time, dude.

This is me, a little disgusted.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Where's The List?

In recent days I have come to the conclusion that I must revise my list. It's harder than I realized, narrowing the list of famous men-that-I-would-want-to-kiss-though-I-will-never-ever-meet-them-and-likely-would-stutter-like-a-fool-if-I-did to only five. I didn't think I was the type to get all googly eyed over a guy who likely isn't as cool in real life as he is on the screen - small or large - but apparently I am. My new crush is Michael Shanks (really, you say, I would never have guessed that, Jane) and as I am finding out, he really IS as cool in real life as he appears on TV so I need to add him to the list. But who to bump?
  • I can't remove Richard Dean Anderson. He was the first one on my list. Before I even knew what lists were, he was on it. And he is awfully good looking for a guy who's older than my father:
  • Hadley Fraser has a large deficiency of good pictures available on the web for me to steal. This is one of the best: but have you heard him sing? The man is crazy good:
  • Then comes the one that could be considered an anomaly. Despite his inability to choose movies that I can actually watch, I really like Jason Carter. His single season with Babylon 5 made such an impression on me that he might be the one guy I could meet in person because there is so much stuff I could ask him. He might lose the mustache though, it's a little heavy:
  • Those three are givens. Thou shalt not remove them from the list. Then with the recent addition of Michael Shanks we're up to four already. Again, how can you not LOVE the nerdy, sensitive, built look?:
  • So who's fifth? One spot with so many possibilities. Cillian Murphy is Irish and awfully versatile. Very cute: Matthew Perry is amazingly funny and adorable:

This is me, torn for the fifth spot on my list.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This Way Please

I really wish I'd had a video camera on my way home today. There was the cutest traffic cop directing cars at a light that was out. This guy was good. It seriously looked like he was directing a symphony rather than telling this lane to go and this lane to stop and this one turn left. It was awesome. I really need to start carrying my camera more places.

This is me, driving home a little happier than before.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Does Not Have My Back...Up

This is likely one of those questions that answers itself; WHY is it, the one time in your life that you don't back up a file three or more times, that is the one time that the whole system fails and you're out of luck? Is it because the other times, when you DO save it elsewhere, the event isn't as memorable? Or is there some algorithm in the universe that states when the back up has not been created, the hard drive must fail?
It would not surprise me.
I'm not usually a fatalist. In fact, I am quite paranoid about things like this happening, so I usually do back up files. Especially large and complicated and detailed ones such as this movie my brother had to do for health class - who wants a multimedia movie for health? - and which I was extremely proud of. (I helped him with the editing.) WHY in the name of all that is holy did I not make a copy for myself? That is the sort of thing I do. That's how I roll, yo. WHY not this time? Because this is the time - after the teacher did a stupida** thing and formatted the disk when it asked him to instead of giving it back to my brother - this is the time that the hard drive develops a mechanical failure and poops out. And this is the time that there was anything on the drive that really mattered and this is the time that it's going to cost $900 to retrieve all the information or he fails the class.
Why is this the one time I didn't give in to the paranoia and just make a back up on my hard drive, or on another DVD or anything else?

This is me, just full of the whining this week.

From Whence You Cometh