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June 2009 Archives

June 3, 2009

what does it mean to be an amateur?

Greetings from Meowderley (as I doubt I will be writing anything serious, this name wins the house naming contest)!

anywho. When we bought the place, there was a huge Juniper bush obscuring the view of the house. This sucker was soo big, that I could've sculpted it into a sea monster or even a cthulhu-like thing (shout out to my buddy, mister sluckey) . And I probably would have, had not the loml made it his personal mission to destroy the thing. Once it was destroyed, with some assistance from a neighbor who owned a chain-saw, there was a huge gaping space in our lawn.

which was cool, I thought. Maybe I could plant some flowers or something decorative, you know? Well, as it happened, a couple of days ago, a friend of the loml's gifted us with about 5 huge lawn bags of plants (thank you, Sara!) Now, she stopped by pretty late in the evening, and I tried to listen to what she said, but all I can vaguely recall is that we got day lillies, hostas, some kind of mint, a suspicious not-quite-a-succulent, and everything else is a mystery to me.

but when I got home today, I noticed that some of the plants were trying to die. Which was not cool. I didn't accept 5 bags of gift plants to let them die on my porch. if there was gonna be any plant death, it would be a result of my shoddy gardening skills. So I grabbed the tiller I had bought the previous day and headed for the empty space in my front lawn.

you have to remember, I've never had a lawn of my own. So I'd googled around on the internet and found some basic instructions. First I was supposed to use the garden hose to designate the shape of the garden I was putting down. well, the hose had been relocated to the bottom of the house.. stop. wait.

this is the part where I have to tell you, that I did everything wrong. ok - so no expectations here. ready?

ok, so the hose had been moved out back of the house and I didn't want to get it cause the whole thing was encased in a hose organizer box and was really heavy. So, I figured that I could just free-hand the shape of the garden. The space left behind by the kraken-bush was relatively circular and matched the existing gardening space on the other side of the driveway. so I had symmetry going for me already. So I started using the tiller, as per the internet instructions (step 2 - till the soil). Sadly, I really couldn't justify spending $300 or more dollars on a mechanical tiller. So I bought a hound dog hand tiller for $25 instead.

heh. hehehe. bwa-hahahaha. ok then. i thought I'd just hand till this space, which didn't seem so big, but I was only a third of the way through and I got really really tired. So I called the loml at work, cause he's strong and I knew he could do this for me! but, no. turns out the loml was going to a poker game after work and neglected to tell me. so two things here:
1 - ladies please note, just because you have a man cave at home, does not mean that your man will stay there. no. he will continue to seek out other man caves (which now sounds vaguely disturbing... anyway).
2 - BAD LOML. next time you're not coming home, you should tell me.

so, after failing to convince my sister to come over and till the space, I figured the hell with it. I had a hand trowel to dig holes for the plants anyway.. why do I need to till ALL the soil?? So then, on to step 3.. sort of. I was actually supposed to plan out on paper where all the plants would go, but I figured I could just open up all the bags and lay the plants out. So I did that, at which point I realized that I wasn't sure what most of them were and what they would do.. and they all looked green (no flowers to be seen) so I just organized by size, kind of. and the internet said I should plant them in odd-numbered groups so they would be more aesthetically pleasing. but then I figured some of them would probably die anyway, so it didn't really matter. So I laid them out and started planting.

this is the part where I figure it was an "organic process", you know like how fashion designers on 'Project Runway' like to say "oh, I am an organic designer... the design just grew this way". right. So I was like an organic planter.. I vaguely recall Sara saying something about giving the plants room to grow, so I stuck the plants in little groupings with space and stuff. and then I wound up tilling all the spots that I wanted to put the plants in anyway.. though I got pretty dizzy a few times and had to take a few breaks.

I refreshed myself with Gatorade and a TastyKake (the butterscotch krimpets, if you must know). I definitely wasn't going to start drinking, because as tempting as it would be to have an excuse for the planting later, I really wanted to give this my best effort (if 'best' means as well as I could do given the circumstances). Anyway.. I planted and tilled and eyeballed the sucker for a couple of hours, cautiously avoiding the neighbors cause I really didn't want to talk about it.

and then I was done. I cleaned up, noted all the mosquito bites that made it through my clothes, and took a last look at my work. which.. was not bad.. but not exactly good either. Cause I know what good looks like, and somehow.. I can tell I didn't quite get it. but I figured it was what it was, and I should get inside and clean up. And I have to tell you, right when I was in the shower, I just started laughing. I was thinking "Is this what its like when the bride shows up in a wedding dress that she made herself?" Cause only the strong plants were gonna survive my planting efforts, which would mean that I had just replaced the kraken-bush with a mutant garden. At which point I realized that fatigue was getting to me and I better get a grip. So there you have it. News from the home front and a picture from just after I was done. I'm not sure what will actually survive but that's a topic for another post.

the sad part is that there is no good angle to take this picture from.. it looks weird from all directions and it looks like I left a hole in the space.. not sure how that happened either : (

June 12, 2009

hanging out with your sister, cautionary tale

and I'm back. No tales from Meowderly this time, but: if you know me and I know you, and you know how to use a trencher, call me! I got some work to do.

I was cleaning up just now, thinking about spa treatments in india, when it occurred to me that the internet is a great place for sharing stories about yourself that people might never know. of course, that's what makes it a bad bad place too, but i think this is a good tale to share, unless you are my sister and didn't want anyone to know. if so, she doesn't read my blog, so ha ha! but anyway,

One fine week, providence found my sister and myself (and my future wedding photographer) in Curacao. we had snagged an amazing all-inclusive at the Marriott there (which I highly recommend) and things had been good. So good that my sister and I decided to take advantage of the free non-motorized sport equipment rentals and wound up in a two person kayak on the open sea. note* this is not hard as Curacao is a tiny island of only about 171 sq. miles.

The dutch woman who rented it to me gave some directions to a nearby inlet, which was supposed to be very pretty, and then said "if you're not back in two hours, I'll let them know where to look". oo-kay.. but i figured it was a bit of a joke at the "never been kayaking before" person's expense and we set of.

The first ten minutes or so was an exercise in coordination and cursing but we got the hang of it and made it into the inlet. things were going well, it was pretty, and then we decided to turn around. but no. something was up. The tide was coming in (and maybe it had been the whole time, who knows?) and it was all kinds of hell to paddle out. but we paddled and paddled and paddled, and eventually made it out. a bit exhausted but happy. until we realized that now, the tide appeared to be going out and was washing us away from the shore, away from the marriott, and away from curacao. for a brief moment, I tried to figure it out. Were we getting washed towards Venezuela or out into the atlantic? hrm...

but this was no time to screw around. And i will tell you one great thing about my sister. We may have our issues but when the shit hits the fan, she doesn't screw around. So even though we were exhausted, ignorant to the ways of kayaking, and in very real danger of getting washed out to sea, nobody was going to panic. That's how bad it was.

So we pointed ourselves at the resort and began to paddle. and it was friggin hard. If we stopped paddling we would start to wash out, and when we were paddling, we weren't actually getting ahead. and we were getting tired. So I started to sing a negro spiritual because I figured it was a good time to do it.

And then at some point, we saw another kayaker. A single kayak was out there about 50 yards to our right. I wasn't sure how he got there but I could see one thing for sure. He was heading for the shore, and he was actually making progress.

"Let's follow him", I said to my sister. and why not? This was the time where we learned something about kayaking.. you don't paddle against waves, you go at an angle.


well, you can be assured that we made it back to shore, and returned that damn kayak. Then, we headed immediately for the pool bar where we had some amstel bright (curacao, being part of the dutch netherland antilles actually had brewery on the island!) and swore that was the last time we were gonna try anything crazy like that again.

the end.

June 16, 2009

6 degrees

I don't know if any of you are fond of playing six degrees with movies, but I learned a couple of things that I think you should know.

1) this won't help you with movies but it really freaked me out. The guy who plays Jame "Put the lotion in the basket!" Gumb is the same guy who plays Captain Stottlemeyer on "Monk". That's right, I introduce you to Ted Levine. For those of you who need to see it, check out the google image search here.

2) This one is less shocking but more helpful. The guy who plays 'Bones' in the new Star Trek movie was also in Lord of the Rings as "Eomer". If you don't recall Eomer, he was the son of Eomund, brother of Eowyn, and was the Third Marshall of the Mark just prior to the War of the Ring. He was a strong leader of men and blah blah blah...sorry, I was channeling Tolkein for a moment there. Check out Karl Urban. I never would've figured this on my own, thanks go to the loml.

June 19, 2009

one step forward, and two steps back

Its been a funny kind of day. and I'm not laughing.

Today i ventured forth from Meowderly in search of a Target. This was a little odd since I've always thought of Target as being one of those stores that's always nearby, just waiting for you to come on in. But, from the new house, the closest Target is about seven and a half miles away, in another city (if you can believe that). But whatever, its not like I have to walk there so I put it in the nav system and hauled off.

Once I got there, I realized that 0) the area was familiar and 1) there was a Kohl's nearby and 2) I was in serious need of retail therapy. So I went into Kohl's and figured that I should get a summer dress. and even though I know better I totally went shopping in the Junior's section (which is a mistake, yes Tim Gunn.. I know). And there I came face to face with the infamous maxi dress. Which has totally been the rage this year, despite the fact that it make us all look like swingers from 60's dinner party. I almost bought one until I realized that the maxi dress is a fad, and the fact that they were on sale at Kohl's meant that their time was up in style land. So I left.

which brings me to my next bit of news (its been slow, really). I finally got caught up with the times and have started checking out the podcasts on iTunes. I've been checking out the yoga podcasts so far, and so far I've done about 10 minutes of one.

hah - told you its been slow.

June 28, 2009

house party inferno

so the loml and I had a housewarming party this weekend, so for those of you who didn't know, We moved! Into a House! and if you didn't get an invite, "I'm sorry but please visit, we'd love to have you over!"

So the party seemed to go well and here are some nuggets of info:

1. Boy, people sure do love queso. That was actually the one thing that we didn't buy a lot of, and it ran out about half way through the party. dang.

2. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka (warning* this website uses bluegrass theme music) - this was the sleeper hit of the party. I didn't really notice it until about 3 hours in, when all of sudden everyone was drinking it. and damn if it doesn't taste like sweet tea.

3. Thank you all for the lovely housewarming gifts. This is the first thing I bought with the gift cards (but i didn't pay anything near that price). and yes, it works great and the house is fine, thanks for asking.

June 29, 2009

world changing

I love self-help books. I even read self-help books that I don't need, just to see what I'm supposed to do in case I ever need help for some of this stuff. and my current book is so weirdo, that you're gonna think I've joined a cult. but let's start at the beginning.

My sister and I were at the local consignment store looking for DVDs. In retrospect, the consignment store SUCKS for DVDs but they do have plenty of everything else. if by everything else you mean vintage "my great uncle died and left behind all this plastic junk from the 70's". but that was ok, cause me and my sister LURVE stuff!

So there we were trying on ties and picking out books from the 50 cent section when I stumbled upon this gem titled, "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting". It was published pretty recently and my sister recalls it being very popular when she worked at the bookstore. Intrigued, I began flipping through it trying to figure out what the method was.. and amazingly enough, I couldn't figure out what mumbo-jumbo the author was trying to push. She kept talking about setting off positive vibrations, but I couldn't find any real explanations. So of course, I bought it.

And last night, I read the first three chapters. Which go something like this:
In this life, people don't get what they deserve or work for. Instead, people get things that match or are similar to what they vibrate. And what do people vibrate? People vibrate how they feel and how strongly they feel. And if you don't vibrate, you are dead inside. So the secret to getting your amazing life is to think positively about what you want, and then spend your time feeling it. And you shall receive (you know, because your good vibrations will attract other things that have good vibrations and its just like a MAGNET)!

wow. well, ok then. Even though this is getting real close to some kind of pyramid power 60's thing, I figured "Why not? Why the hell not?!".

note* I suspect this is the point where some people might reach a different conclusion. It's ok.. I think I may be crazy.

So I spent the morning feeling positive. The author makes a very clear point that "thinking positive" is bullshit that won't get you anywhere, and that's great because I hate thinking positive. But feeling positive, I can do that. So I drove to work, paying attention to how I felt and trying to consciously manipulate that. And it went real well. I showed up to work practically glowing. And I glowed right through my morning, and straight through lunch (which consisted of a really great hummus falafel veggie pita, a quick browse through REI, and a transformers slushee from 7-11 at the end).

but then, around 2pm, that little light of mine just went out. and I started not feeling at all (I suspect because I was at work, but whatever) which was bad. and I spent the rest of the afternoon slugging it out with my feelings.

So now, I'm home and I'm going to see what the next 9 chapters are about. Hopefully its going to have something to do with practical implementation. And you know, I don't see why this shouldn't work. reality is tricky beast. so I'll let you know how it goes.

June 30, 2009

the woo-woo wands

ok, so last night I read another 3 chapters of my book "Excuse me, your life is waiting". These next three chapters focused on how to work yourself up to controlling and generating positive vibrations. One thing I like about this author is that she keeps telling these stories like "Well, I was just coming out of Alcoholics Anonymous..." and "at this stage of my life, my business had gone under" or "there was this one time when I dated a priest". I love these kinds of details... which is another reason why I think the appendix of the book rocks.

Unlike what I expected, the appendix on this book was barely two pages long and it starts like this, "Much of what is written in this book will test one's intellect and logic to the fullest extent.. For those of you who find yourselves challenged in that regard ... you may find this fun energy-proving do-it-yourself kit a help."

and then she gives you instructions to make a couple of dowsing rod thingies out of coat hangers. Then as you hold them and focus your energies, you will see the rods move! So, I thought.. awesomeness. a project!

So I got a couple of wire hangers from the dry cleaners and some wire cutters so I could make the "woo woo wands", as the author calls them. And that's when I learned something. I learned that dry cleaner hangers aren't fully wire (at least, mine weren't). Instead, the top is metal and then hooks into a piece of cardboard for the long flat piece at the bottom. So, no woo woo wands for me.

so sad. instead, i worked on concentrating my energies and this morning, I did it again. and all kinds of neat things happened. One co-worker gave me some green tea from taiwan in the morning, another gave me a can of orange san pelligrino in the afternoon. And, just when I thought I was gonna miss lunch because I was walking back from the doctor's office, a carload of my office mates passed me in the car and picked me up off the street!

As you can see, my vibrations have a lot to do with food. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Note from the loml* he wants to know if I got any hangers. otherwise how will i make my 'wubby wubby sticks'. I will tell you all now, he is really the best.

About June 2009

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in June 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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