Monday, May 31, 2010

OYW: Super easy! If you're not retarded like I am.

Hey Donk,

You might say I wasn't exactly in the right frame of mind to be working on this project at the exact moment I chose to do so, since I'd been out working in the suddenly steamy hot garden all morning and had exhausted my patience on the cucumber cages I was creating from scavenged chicken wire (WHY SO POINTY?), but I had determined that Sunday was going to be the day I tackled one of our two projects for this month, so obviously I had no choice but to bite the bullet and go ahead with it.

Because you know how I am with a schedule.

But that lack of patience combined with the reintroduction to sweat on my brow was the perfect storm of no-nos that resulted in the first 30 minutes of my experience with this pattern to be, let's say, less than ideal.

This poor top came into the world amidst a sea of swears.

Because me, oh stupid get off the phone when you're starting a sewing project ME, spent half an hour hunting through all four of the pattern sheets looking for the skirt pattern piece and swearing up a frenzied blue storm while on the phone with my mother before realizing that OH there is no pattern piece for the skirt part of this pattern because oh right there it says to cut two pieces 21x26x17 in a trapezoid shape or something equally simple and not warranting new swears.


So, sometimes I can be dumb and mildly heat-stroked and just not be able to make rational thought happen.

Sorry, mom, that you had to hear me berate everything from the book to my sewing machine to The World We Live In and so on because I'm too stupid to read through the pattern while not also doing 60 other things at once so that I could absorb the pattern's message which was: There aren't pattern pieces for the skirt, just easy measurements.

She's a patient one, me mum.

ANYWAY. Once I got done being a psycho, hung up with my mom (again, sorry mom, I totally ruined our Sunday call. Happy Long Weekend! Enjoy bbqing tomorrow!) and restarted my brain with the help of some freshly brewed sun tea (yay for sun! And caffeine.) - this super cute project took me all of an hour to finish.

And I really like the result. Which sort of surprised me since I figured I'd:

A. Look like I was wearing a trash bag.
B. Feel like I was going to loose a boob out of the front or side while wearing it.
C. Look like I was wearing a trash bag.

I'm sure you can see why I was afraid of boob popage.

I mean, yes, the pattern is very cute and I was sure it was *one of those* patterns that looks good on super small people with conveniently compact boobage, but I was pretty sure that since I don't fit that description it was going to look like a trash bag or a poorly constructed boob bag and it would maybe take some special alteration to make work.

Did not!

What? You thought I was going to model it as a nightie? Don't be porny.

This was the first shot out of the cannon and I really like it.

Plus, I got to use some of that Heather Bailey fabric that has been haunting me ever since last summer's multiple failed attempts at that muther effing sundress with The Devil's Elastic Thread that caused me to create a sundress fit for a four year old (Hi, Emma! I hope you like your dress!) rather than a 31 year old woman like myself.

How a pattern can turn an adult sized dress into one fit for a small child with just the misuse (on my part) of elastic thread is a physical conundrum with which I still haven't been able to come to terms.

But I got to use this fabric which I love with a fiery passion and then YAY also got to use up the rest of my tiny elastic and some random bias tape I had lurking in the sewing box.

Oh, by the way, this pattern takes all 3 1/2 yards of the bias tape it calls for so don't get all, weeee let's just not pay attention and trim off ends all mamby pamby because whoopsy you may get 90% of the hem sewn on and run out and have to finish up with some other bias tape that's not the same color.

Just saying.

Beyond that, though, super easy. Directions made sense. All pattern pieces were included, despite my initial assumptions. Final result is cute, flattering and will make a very nice nightie or tank top (over another tank top and with jeans) once I wash the starchiness out of that fabric because, yes, I'm one of those people who still doesn't wash fabric before sewing with it because I'm lazy.

Hey, you knew this.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I really enjoyed standing around.

So, I wish I had some wild stories to tell you from our flyfishing trip, but as it turns out, standing in a river in the back waters of Arkansas results in very few wild events.

Bubba thought this was wild. Breathables are apparently the next wave of fashion.

Which, frankly, I found to be perfectly acceptable.

See, I'm used to fishing on fast moving water. Where wading in is half the fun because there are errant logs jutting out everywhere and giant boulders waiting to drop you off into the dark nevernever. And then when you actually find a suitable spot to hang out and consider fishing, you immediately lose your fly on the first back cast into some gnarly bush of thorny hair from which you can't extract your fly without YAY traipsing back out of your sketchy wading spot to find the source of the snare.

And when, by whatever miracle, you get to a decent spot and manage to cast without losing it all in the shrubs you find that holy crap, the water's moving really fast so it's like a manic struggle to keep your fly on viable water long enough for some speed demon of a god damn trout to snap it up.

Eventually, cold seeps through even your wooliest of wool socks and you get tired of bugs trying to make a nest in your nostrils, so you wade out ever so carefully and drag your frozen peg legs back to the car.

Dudes, I love to fish, but I will admit that I don't really know why.

It can all just get super tedious is what I'm saying. Not that I don't like to fish here in NorCal, I DO, but so far I've not planted myself in a river as accommodating and pleasant and lovely than the Spider Creek area near Beaver Dam in Arkansas.

Friends, I  fished for three days. And during this fabulous yet rare event, I did not participate in any of the following activities which typically make up my fishing day:
  1. Accidentally stepping into a depth which SURPRISE YIKES COLD FUCK exceeds the height of my waders.
  2. Freezing my ass off because I'm wading waist deep into snowmelt straight from the Sierras.
  3. Retying my fly 170 times because oh damn it all I just lost another behind a mystery somethingorother under the dark water.
  4. Harvesting a poisonous nut in bulk with the intention of cooking for Bubba and I because I became inspired during a frozen club footed walk back to the car.
  5. Slip sliding away while holding various bushes at various angles with the intent of making it *just to that spot over there* only to find that my rod is all wound up in the variously angled bushes when I actually get close to *that spot over there*.

Thankfully, I also participated in the activity known as CATCHING A FISH, so while there were many differences between my usual fishing itinerary, this was the most welcomed.

And then let's not get too excited beyond that. Because I just caught The One. But it was the most beautiful and graceful and lovely creature I'd ever seen and so I immediately decided that she was a she and barely resisted giving her a name before she slid out of my fingers back into the river.

It was awesome. The whole day was awesome. The whole weekend was awesome. And at the end of every day, we retired at the sound of the horn (when they start "generating" - which means "opening the gates of the dam and filling up the river around your dawdling ass" - they sound a loud horn which sort of sounds like an uninterrupted air siren and you have 10 minutes to move your ass or start paddling.) and drank our faces off. Oh, and because these friends are of the Arkansas and Missouri variety, we ate the requisite amount of proper BBQ so that we wouldn't be held back at the gates of the airport for not adequately observing local custom.

Of course you need two kegs of microbrew for 7 people.

Brisket. Beans. Sauce. All food should taste like this.

This is serious work I'm doing here, friends.

And because a trip report to the great and diverse state of Arkansas wouldn't be complete without an awesome WT story, here you go. Arkansas friends - I love you very much because I know that this doesn't represent everyone in your fine state and I'm sorry if this was your sister:

Once upon a time on our drive out to the river, we stopped in some along the way town (and now that I think about it, it could have been a town in Kansas or Missouri, so who knows who I'm offending at this point) for gas and I went inside to buy what fruity Californians buy at a gas station: a bottle of water.

As I stood in a line that was inexplicably long, cradling my bottle of Dasani, a scene unfolded behind me that was so awesomely perfect that I'm only sad that I couldn't have been standing somewhere with a better view so as to appreciate it in all of its glory.

Girl of youthful years (let's say she was *maybe* 17) holding a toddler while wearing a bikini top and jean shorts: Bay-be, you're hang-gry ain't ye? (SERIOUSLY. THAT'S HOW SHE SOUNDED.)

Boy of youthful years (perhaps 17 as well) staring off blankly while wearing an oversize tank top with a race car on the front: Uh, bay-be, I got the pizzas. 

Girl: I kin see thay-at. But do ya have the cooooou-pon? I don't have enough muuun-ey for them pizzas without a cooooooou-pon.

Boy: Uh, I think I left it at tha house.

Girl: Well, you better just git back on over they-are and git it because the baby's hang-gry and I don't have enough muuun-ey for them pizzas without it. Now move!

Boy: Yes'm.

Baby: [Silence]

And then Mr. NASCAR tank top slinked out of the glass doors and back to their house which I assume had wheels. And the girl kept nagging on this miraculously silent child about how useless his father was while fulfilling every stereotype imaginable.

It was, in a word, perfect.

As was the weekend and our super hospitable friends and most every person we met along the way and then the river and the fish and the food. I liked it all and now I want to go fishing again nownownow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Farmshare Project: Week 7

I know you were all waiting desperately for me to tell you how I ate all the vegetables from this past week's farmshare the exact same way I always do, so here I am to give you the full, mostly predictable, report.

But, there was some fun revisiting of spring dishes that made me glad that I started saving (and organizing by season, like a huge dork) all those recipes I've used to get through our farmshare every year.

You could maybe look at this project the way I look at my recipe binder - as a savior in times of great vegetable overload. Like when you're staring down an untiring crisper full of greens and you can't even remember when the last time was you ate anything other than greens with greens on the side and you have to tame the crisper even if it means eating greens one more night in a row so that you can slam shut the fridge.

Is it too much to call this project a savior? It might be, but I'm moving on with it anyway because I like the idea of a blog post being heroic enough to unearth someone buried beneath a life-threateningly large pile of bok choi.

Take that, bok! We win!

Not really. The bok actually always wins. It's written into its contract, I'm told.


Get a load of those friggen huge radishes. They're the size of lemons. I'm not sure that's right.

Last week's box had:
Fava beans
Red Russian kale
Meyer lemons
"Little Gem" romaine lettuce
Bok choi
Young onions
Red radishes

And their fate was:
We ate them
Arugula - Giant Salad with Your Leftovers Night
Escarole - Giant Salad with Your Leftovers Night
Red Russian kale - In my latest version of White Bean Pasta with Kale that is SUPER GOOD. (see below)
Leeks - In my latest version of White Bean Pasta with Kale that is SUPER GOOD. (see below)
Meyer lemons - In aioli for artichokes and mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper for salad dressing
"Little Gem" romaine lettuce - Giant Salad with Your Leftovers Night
Bok choi - Best Chicken Salad Ever
Young onions - (green stems) Best Chicken Salad Ever
Red radishes - Giant Salad with Your Leftovers Night, on fish tacos
Spinach- Best Chicken Salad Ever
Tatsoi - Giant Salad with Your Leftovers Night
Strawberries - #1 Strawberry Pie of the year and for breakfast with yogurt, flax seed, walnuts and honey

We stored them

Fava beans
Meyer lemons (2)
Young onions (bulbs only)
Red radishes (1 Giant Monster Radish left)

We gave it all to our neighbors

We harvested it from the garden and got a glimpse into the chaos that the garden will bring when it's in full swing
Lollo rosso lettuce
Bibb lettuce

To look at the recounting of how we dispatched all those vegetables, it would appear that we had very few meals, but, in fact, we had a full week's worth, and the farmshare played the important role of The Thing That's Not Leftovers So Therefore Edible on the menu.

Which is the story behind the Giant Salad With Your Leftovers Night. See, I feel like serving leftovers for dinner is some sort of poor reflection on my cooking skills. Or Bubba's eating leftover for lunch skills. Or our refrigerator's ability to digest human food skills. Any way you look at it, I don't really relish the concept of eating leftovers for dinner. Because that's like, so yesterday's news, that pasta I remember having at this same time last night.

So, to make leftovers for dinner seem more glamorous or at least less repulsive and because I usually only have one serving's worth of leftovers left over (because it's supposed to be Bubba's lunch), I split it in half and serve it with a monster salad full of good things that can distract your taste buds from the pasta they totally remember from last night.

It's like Texts From Last Night, except with food. And it's way less entertaining and salacious.

Thankfully I had peppery radishes, hot green garlic, tart lemon dressing and a wild mix of salad greens to keep our minds off of boring pasta that woke up with the imprint of a toilet seat on its chest.

wait...what? I'm confusing things.

And it didn't hurt that the White Bean Pasta with Kale that I made, and then served again as leftovers, was the best version of it that I've made ever, so eating it again wasn't even half bad. Though we complained just the same.

To make this excellent dish (which is meatless and still somehow one of Bubba's favorites) in this new and improved way, saute two sliced leeks in the oil before you add the garlic and red pepper and then sub out half the vegetable (or chicken) broth with white wine.

And not that it's related necessarily, but if you really want to save Leftovers Night, just serve Strawberry Pie for dessert and all will be forgiven. Believe me, I knows it to be true.

Now I am going to go run off into the backwoods of Arkansas with Bubba and some good old friends for a weekend of fishing and drinking straight from the bottle, so there won't be a Farmshare Project: Week 8 report since the vegetables, as well as the bloodthirsty cat's care, will be in the hands of our fair neighbors.

Next week we can just talk about hangover recipes. With hushed voices. In a dark room.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Big Stupid Idea grows ever bigger and stupider

You should know that after I hit, "Publish", on that last post I did go immediately to the race site and register for the duathlon.

Something about seeing all my irrational behavior in black and white pushed me over the edge. I can shame myself! What a fun and useful skill.

So, YAY, we're all signed up. I'm going to drag my uncoordinated ass out in public on June 6th and attempt to conduct myself in a manner befitting a rookie multisport athlete.

What kind of manner is that? Uh, well, not really sure. But, thanks to Bubba, I will not be sparing those around me on the bike course the horror of my clip-in pedal klutziness because when I came home all aglow with my recent race registration, he immediately went out to the garage and swapped out my biggie platform pedals for clip-in ones.

Though, I should say that he did pay attention to my whining a bit and put his superior pedals on my bike and my less superior clip-in pedals on his bike. "Just for the race."

What can I say? I'm a total whiner. Of course he wasn't going to let me participate in my first bike race in EW LOSER heavy pedals. In fact, he didn't even want me taking my bike in for a tune-up with those things on it.

Always on the lookout for my public image, this man.

Also, I'm sure he also thinks I should be using these things for the purpose they were intended rather than letting them gather dust whilst I tool around on sub-par pedals while wearing flip-flops.

Have I told you Bubba takes issue with my dislike of "proper shoes", because he does.

It stems from a long history of me heading out on hiking trails wearing flip-flops and then sliding down the side of a mountain. Or stepping out of the truck in Tahoe only to then sprint to the house and stand with chattering teeth because OH HELLO I'm wearing flip-flops in the snow. Or mowing the lawn in flip-flops. Digging in the yard in flip-flops. Working on the car in flip-flops. And let's not even tell him how I used to ride on my college boyfriend's motorcycle in flip-flops and *GASP* super short shorts and tank top and *GASP AGAIN* no helmet.

I know. Pretty retarded. Especially the part about the lawn mower.

Anyway, I have excellent bike shoes and now, thanks to my beloved, I will be wearing them while they are clipped into his fabulous (they really are better than mine) pedals on my lovely bike while I try my hand (legs?) at this new event.

Other Big and Stupid Idea updates:
  1. The bike is going into the shop for a tune-up today. 
  2. I have carved out time for another brick workout before the race.
  3. I will be adding Fun Biking Socks to my list of douchie shit I need to buy. I have drawn the line at getting an actual tri or cycling top because that is, in my estimation, too much.
Obviously, I'm the queen of restraint.

What it's going to amount to though, this "restraint" of mine, is that my ensemble is going to make sense everywhere except my torso. Where I'll be wearing a running top from years passed. So, if you're a cyclist and you think I'm going to look like a major ass in this top, tell a girl, will ya?

If not, it means I'm heading out onto the course in a get-up that includes black spandex shorts, some Fun Bike Socks of unknown color/design, white and baby blue bike shoes, a neon green top and a royal blue and white helmet.

If you just retched, I can't say I blame you. I will be gaining ZERO style points in this race.

Oh, and speaking of style points - I actually purchased a photo from each of my last sub-60 10K attempts because the sporting event photographers decided to stop moonlighting as Mafiosos and dropped the price for a single digital picture down to a more reasonable range. Not that I enjoy paying in the teens for a single digital photo, but it sure beats having to buy a disc (an actual disc? Really? Is this 1992? No.) of 4 photos for $50.

Really, now. Let's not say crazy things, people.

And I thought these photos were decent. Style point rational detailed below.

Style points: 4
1 point: I look like I might be having an OK time when, in fact, I was dying a horrible kidney shriveling death.
1 point: I learned that these headbands are not attractive and so will never wear them again. Points allotted for future style saves.
2 points: If anyone gives me any beef about how come I haven't started trail running yet, I can pull out this picture and correct them accordingly. Because for short, meaningless legs of this race we traveled off the paved path.

Style points: 3
1 point: New shorts with the orange trim are awesome. Obvi.
1 point: New hat is a vast improvement over the freaky bouffant-inducing headband.
1 point: They got this shot off *just* before I took a look at my Garmin.
-1 point: They got this shot off on a down-stride which is unflattering and enhances my slow-and-trudging appearance even though this was the race where I actually DID get my sub-60 10K PR so I could stop having to say sub-60 10K PR like I know you all were wishing I would.

Anyway, I'm hoping I've racked up enough style points to date with running because I'm about to erase them all as I head out onto the du course in my mismatchy outfit, Disaster Maker pedals and numbers painted on my arms and legs by an angry volunteer.

This idea just gets better and better.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My latest Big Stupid Idea.

Back in the good old days, my Big Stupid Ideas (term coined by Bubba) consisted of paddling my kayak into rocky sea outcroppings and starting cocktail hour at noon when we were on vacation. The fact that one of those ideas begets the other is not important. Or, at least, I should ask you to politely ignore your rational thoughts and move on.

Now, however, my Big Stupid Ideas tend to involve me getting up at stupid early hours in order to piece together training workouts for races for which I have not yet even registered.

It is likely that I am getting dumber and more delusional as I age, which would mean the rate of Big Stupid Ideas is about to take a big swing upward.

Yay! Who wants to be my emergency contact?

What? No takers? Jerks.

Evidence of this new trend: Yesterday morning (that'd be Sunday for those of you reading this on a day other than Monday, you late-comers. SHAME.) I got up at the impossibly early weekend hour of 6am so that I could walk the dog before attempting my first Run > Bike > Run workout.

Why the early hour, you ask? Are you trying to get a workout in before going to church, you ask?

Well, I'm still relatively new to the Biking For a Purpose Other Than To Go Get Tacos thing, so I wanted the roads to be as free and clear as possible so that I could get in a semi-uninterrupted dash to my randomly determined turnaround point without having to dodge those people who do go to church and then immediately flee the place all drunk on the idea of forgiveness pancakes.

Really, though, people - burning rubber out of the church parking lot? Isn't there some rule that says you have to be beyond the church grounds before behaving like an outright lunatic? I'm just saying that you're not going to catch much of a break on that behavior next week when it was witnessed all first hand, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, enough of my blaspheming, the point was to get out and rip the band-aid off this never-before-attempted training of running and then biking and then running again to see what would happen to my body and if, by some miracle, I could actually see myself doing it in two weeks when this event goes off.

Because the only viable duathlon in a 50 mile radius involving biking rather than swimming (for a funny note on how retarded I am with regard to this fact, keep reading) is being held on June 6th and if I want to quench this sudden and inexplicably strong desire for completing a duathlon in 2010, I'll have to jump on it and hope I don't die a shameful and chamois-crotched death due to lack of preparation and/or brain power.

Of course, this does mean that I have to set aside my super A/R Plan 700 Years In Advance For Everything tendencies and it will open me up to much greater opportunities for public shaming, but for some reason that super worry wart A/R part of my brain has been really quiet on the issue.

It's possible that this is due to the extension of Vacation Rules Cocktail Hour to your average at-home weekend, but who can be sure, you know?

Anyway, I went out yesterday morning and completed this, the first and potentially only brick workout and here is what I learned:
  1. Running in spandex hot pants is not as terrifying as expected. Even with the My Pants Appear to Be Full of Something Syndrome brought on by the chamois.
  2. Running after biking is, indeed, as being-chased-by-a-zombie-in-a-nightmare slow as suggested by all the other multisport athletes I've interrogated on the subject.
  3. If I can't get my bike tuned up in time for this race, an awful fate could befall myself, the bike and those around me on the race course.
  4. My Garmin is withholding information and I can't figure out how to make it do my bidding.
  5. I actually need a water bottle and cage but will still feel like a douchebag shopping for them. 
  6. I should probably register for this race if I'm going to waste perfectly good Sunday mornings proving to my neighbors that I'm a psycho who runs the neighborhood in spandex and then bikes the neighborhood in spandex and then OH WAIT THERE SHE GOES AGAIN runs the neighborhood in spandex. 
Fun times.

Actually, I quite liked my little faux-duathlon training test workout thing. I didn't use any official training method for piecing it together, because that would run contrary to all my previous training methods and don't we all know what a finely tuned and impressive athlete I am now thanks to that (ha), but since I know I can physically run and bike the distances this shortie duathlon calls for (1.5, 12, 2.5) I was mostly just curious about the transitions and also how bad it would *really* be going from biking to running.

As for the transitions, they were fine. I mean, I'm going Super Rookie for this first duathlon attempt and will likely leave my clip-in pedals and fancy Shimano shoes at home and instead bike on standard pedals in my running shoes.

Sure, I'll totally look like a douchebag newbie, but since I will be a douchebag newbie, I'm not too super worried about it. Now.

On race day, however, I'll totally bemoan my douchiness and how come I didn't just put my pedals back on and rock my hot bike shoes because why am I buying and having these things if I'm not going to use them because now everyone knows I'm a douchebag newbie all wearing running shoes to ride the bike, but I think I'll live.

Plus, nothing says douchebag newbie like crashing into someone at the turnaround because YIKES I FORGOT MY FEET WERE CLIPPED IN.

I'm just saying, it could happen. And then I'd be worse than Douchebag Newbie. I would probably have a few more swears tacked on and there would be a lot of public shame involved. More so than that of being the girl riding a bike in running shoes. I think, anyway.

So, my thought is that I should, 1 - sign up for the fucking thing and 2 - Save the pedals for duathlon # 2. Which would have to be sometime in 2011, given the shit-tay duathlon schedule for this year that places the only other duathlon in September when I'm scheduled to be out of the country.

And, to be clear, when I say "duathlon", I mean a running and biking duathlon. Not a running and swimming duathlon, which is a different concept altogether and something in which I'm not at all interested. But don't you know that when I was all searching for duathlons on, I got all pissed off at the results showing all these splash and dash events, which I know to involve swimming and not biking, because in my head a duathlon was running and biking so what are all these stupid running and swimming events oh-wait-duathlon-could-mean-any-two-events-not-just-running-and-biking-I-get-it-nevermind.

I really know how to put the Stupid in Big Stupid Ideas, is what it comes down to, I guess.

So, if you're a multisport athlete, if you've done duathlons or triathlons, if you've made a huge ass of yourself because you forgot your shoes were clipped in and summarily destroyed an entire age group's worth of race participants or you just know a lot about chamoises (chamois'? chamoi? What is this word, anyway? French? Fucking French.)  or tri tops - I'm all ears for your advice.

And you don't have to tell me how stupid I'm being because I know.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Super gardenblahblahblah. Prepare thyself.

It's been all of five minutes since I last yabbed about the garden, so my thought was why not start up again?

Everyone's super interested in the color status of my cherry tree and how big the tiny tomatillo #1 is getting and are the beans on their lines yet obviously so why make you wait?

I'm glad we have things like this in common. It makes my unending yabbing seem more interesting since we can share in the joys of WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THE JELLY MELONS.

I'm sure you agree.

And while I'm assuming that everyone is exactly like me, aren't you pissed you used that weird hair product yesterday and your hair is so gunky today that it had to be ponytailed?


Ugh. Annoying. Not annoying like I was going to get up extra early and wash and blow dry my hair on Hair Does Not Get Washed Friday, but still, it's annoying. And, I'm sorry to tell you, but you look like a Jack-O-Lantern when you ponytail your hair. Just saying.

Thankfully, the garden was much more photogenic this morning when I went out there to see if some miracle had happened to bring forth the much anticipated arrival of the jelly melons.

I took this picture on 4/30, but it looks exactly the same today, so I figured, why bother pushing the button on the camera again. Waste of time is what that is.

And also thankfully, I passed a bunch of other plants on the way to the Jelly Melon Failure that were doing impressive things that made me feel like less of a Garden Failure.

Because there's no failure on the cherry trees.

And, while it's not food, I love lavender when it's getting ready to bloom. And when it's fighting off the advances of the overbearing Santolina to do so. Fight fight fight!

Also in the "Not Food But Still Good" category is this Penstemon I picked up a natives nursery. It's all alive and shit.

Here are a few artichokes we haven't eaten yet. But their time is coming for sure since we've been on a mad artichoke frenzy. Meaning, we've eaten them for dinner 3 nights this week. I also realized that WHOOPSY I planted two different kinds of artichokes which is weird because I didn't realize that there were different kinds of artichokes. Hmpf. Neato, I guess.

I'm what she thought she was getting. The other one is the weird one.

The apple tree continues to impress with its monkey ball-sized fruits hulking out in five or six different places on the tree. They're fuzzy like monkey balls, too, which is fairly amusing. Not that I've touched a lot of monkey balls in my day. Or, come to think of it, even seen any in real life, but my imagination is a wondrous and inappropriate place and remembers stuff it sees on the Discovery Channel when images of Mike Rowe aren't crowding everything else out. Thexy.

*cough cough*

Jeff is looking about the same, likely because I haven't given him any new tires to grow into and have basically stopped paying attention to him. Not that he needs my attention, mind you, but I feel guilty for holding back additional vertical acreage and don't do much inspecting or rummaging around his leaves. I figure, as long as the leaves look healthy, he'll be OK and whenever he decides to flower, I'll knock him over and steal his goods.

Kindly keep your hands off my goods, ma'am.

The Black Krim tomato, along with the two Better Boys, are doing exceedingly well and have reached the tops of their small inner cages. How people ever managed to contain tomato plants with just these weeny cages is beyond me. I put them inside the big Real Deal Tomato cages and they disappear in a few months. I mean, I totally heard one of the plants making fun of how short its cage was the other day.

Seriously, he was all, "Hey, Mike - I like how you're wearing your cage as a belt now. Really slimming!" and Mike (the tomato, obviously) was all, "Yeah, Tim, this thing is a total joke. I'm SO the boss of this cage. Try to contain me, will you!"

Why are they named Mike and Tim? No idea. That's just what came out when I hit the keys with my fingers. Funny though how it totally works - am I right?

We're mouthy tomatoes and we've outgrown our inner cages. Beware.

Now, yes, it would probably make sense to call the tomatillo plants, Tom, but for some reason, to me, they're girls. Which also doesn't make sense because of the whole "two to tomatillo" thing that would imply that one must be a male and one a female in order for natural biological physics and things to happen properly, but I've told you how my head is a bizarre little wonderland, so for now, they're girls. And they don't have names. But they're pretty and they're growing a lot and I'm in love with their lanterns.

Again - bizarre, inappropriate, etc in my head.

We grow our own ornaments. Too bad we're not around at Christmastime.

Plus, how can I pay attention to naming these plants when they're doing incredible shit like growing tomatillos inside of these adorable lanterns? I can't, is how. I am very easily distracted.

It's hard to tell, but this is way bigger than a few weeks ago.

It's also easy to get distracted when a plant is tickling your ass. And how do I know this? Because the nasturtium have grown through the seat of my Garden Spying chair and *tickle tickle* I keep swatting them away thinking that they're a bug trying to burrow into my anus while I watch the beans.

Totally disturbing.

I'm just glad that all my Bean Staring has finally resulted in a bean getting its slow ass on a line. Because the low germination rate and resulting begging-of-bean-seeds-from-neighbors was starting to get me down. I'm just glad that the beans succumbed to the shame of being outperformed by the neighborly donated beans and decided to get their act together. Because my idle threats weren't doing the job.

We are very impressionable.

The lettuce/bean/cucumber trio bed is actually starting to come along now. Which I know because I'm spending this weekend thinning the lettuce for salads and hauling away superfluous cucumber seedlings to new Forever Homes. And by Forever, I mean until the fall when they die of their own accord. If you live in the SF Bay Area and want a cuke seedling grown all haphazard like by yours truly, let me know. I may have a few left after this weekend's adoption fair. The lettuce, however, not up for grabs. We are going to start eating salad for breakfast.

Sorry, Bubba.
Take two, they're small.

Red leaf.

Green leaf.

Red and green leaf.

We're all about variety.

And since they're always some unexpected guests at the party, plus shit going on in the garden that I tend to miss while staring intently at the melon bed and making loud curse-heavy threats, I took a swing around the rest of the yard and was happy to find that the other plants are doing something.

I believe this *something* is called, Growing Kumquat Leaves.

This *something* is called, Taunting the Snails.

This *something* is called, Making Parsley Grow in the Spot Where the Sprinklers Overshoot the Lawn.

This *something* is called, Oregano Taking Advantage of the Cherry Tree's Soaker Hose.

And THIS *something* is called FUCKING RHUBARB HELL YEAH.

Sometimes I'm shocked by what these plants do when I am not around to supervise. Sort of pushy, I think.

Anyway, that's all I'll bore you with, garden-wise, right now. Though I should do a little update soon on how the front yard meadow is coming along because, um, it's coming along

Yay! I'm maybe not a total failure with meadow grass and wildflowers that shouldn't really need human help to grow properly! What an accomplishment!


But Bubba said he really liked it and if his fancy lawn doesn't work out in the backyard, maybe he'll plant a meadow like my front yard one. 

And at the thought of planting hundreds more grass plugs in the much huger space in the backyard? There was nothing but the sound of crickets. Because...obviously. PAIN IN THE ASS.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Biking to work and other unrelated topics.

Today is Bike to Work Day, for those of you who haven't already been bludgeoned to death with its forthcoming as I have, and while I would have loved to ride my fab bike to work today, I instead chose to drive my car because LO the car wash service is back on campus and TEE DAH my car is covered in bird doots and filled with Jada hair.

It is impossible for my car to be grosser than this. It needs a bath pretty bad. And vacuuming. And waxing. And, truth be told, it could use a new headlight and a big hug, but we're not going to push our luck with the car wash guy. He's so super friendly and plays reggae at 8 am and I love it so I'm not going to be insulting his good humor by requesting he embrace my vehicle in such a way. That would be rude.


But, since everyone around here was all drunk with I'M RIGHTEOUS FOR BIKING TO WORK WITH ALL MY COWORKERS I wrongly assumed that the roads would be free and clear but sadly that was not the case. Even I, with my carpooly stickers, encountered some incredible traffic on the freeway and I think that's the world's way of saying, SUCKAH.

Or, since the world isn't a bitter bitch like I am, it's probably just a gentle reminder about the fact that I keep saying I'm going to "ride my bike once the weather gets nicer" and, yes thank you, the weather is officially "nice", now.

So what is this post about? Who the hell knows!

I mean, it's a little bit about how I've been hiding my purchase of a road bike from y'all for some time now and also how I have been quietly considering moving my butt into multisport events like a duathlon since I closed the books on the sub-60 10K, and in order to train for such things I've thought whimsically of riding my bike to work even though it's kinda far (15 miles each way) and I'm sure I'll get creamed by something useless like a Ford Focus or at least fall off my bike in front of other people, so there you go.

1. I have a road bike. Now you know.
2. I am thinking about signing up for a duathlon. If you've done one and have thoughts on it, now's the time to spill your shit.
3. I've been clicking around in Google Maps using the new Bike feature trying to find a workable route. 
4. There's no Farmshare Project this week because, if you'll remember, I was off gallivanting drunkenly with Africankelli last week so gave the whole share to my neighbors since Bubba had to defend the Taco Bell empire with his stomach. Scary.

Not that the farmshare has anything to do with getting my buns on the bike, but you're flexible like that and I imagine you can take the wild swings in my consciousness.

Also! I saw one of my purple podded pole beans grab on to its line today, so there's that. Garden update, too! CAN YOU HANDLE IT?

Sorry, maybe that was too much in one post.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thankfully, I don't judge a place by its cops.

Since I decided to extend my post-race break week through this morning's run, I will get my exercise today in the form of typing about the exercise I did get over the weekend, in the form of hiking. In Idaho. With Africankelli.

And, since you know me so well already, I'm not going to deny that much of my exercise also came in the form of me procuring gin, diet tonic and buckets of hotel ice for vacay G&Ts.

That's exercise, y'all, and I don't want to hear otherwise. I had to walk in my robe and slippers all the way down to the lodge bar and then carry back a heavy bucket of ice to our room EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I don't know how I manage. Honestly.

I very much liked Idaho.

Though, more specifically, I liked Boise, Ketchum and Sun Valley.

We did lunch and shopping in Boise followed by driving through a lot of scrub brush nothingness until we got to Bellevue > Hailey > Ketchum > Sun Valley.

I accept this lunch of local trout, beer and the Idaho potato.

Wherein I was pulled over for speeding in a rental car > we imagined we saw Bruce Willis > ate, drank, shopped, rode bikes, hiked, hot spring-ed and made lewd comments about their river (Big Wood) > ate, drank, spa-ed, hiked and tried not to get too close to The Dangerous Swans, respectively.

You can totally sense their bloodthirst.

Before we go on, though, I'd like you to know that while I was pulled over for speeding (though, is 38 considered speeding? I kinda don't think so.), I don't think it's possible that I was actually speeding since I was:

A. Pulling out of a gas station from a dead stop.
B. Driving a gutless POS rental car with 65 horsepower.

But, since the gutless POS had the added feature of a flashing, "Hi! I'm a tourist! Fuck with me!" sign on its hood, to the side of the road I went with the bubble lights of the state police just a-flashin' behind me. After which I endured a session of 20 questions the likes of which I've never known and was accused of being Suspicious with a capital, "S", even though there was, for once, ZERO suspicious activity going on in the car.

Meanwhile, Ketchum and Sun Valley were groovy.

That's Kelli viewing Ketchum from her spaceship's front deck.

We hiked some of the infamous Mount Baldy and around the Sun Valley hills.

A wild beast made that footprint. Fun.

I got Kelli all liquored up with local booze.

Bardenay Gin - Good.
Drinking in the bathtub - BETTER.

Drinking in bed - best.

We rode bikes around. (Though they didn't have cup holders to accommodate our cocktails. Boo.)

I put my foot in hot water made naturally from springs that smell like farts.

We sat in big chairs because it seemed like the thing to do and I'm sure no one else has ever done this before.

We put on clothes other than hiking ones and went out in public to find cocktails and food.

There was also a good bit of shopping, which was made all the better by this apparent season called, Slack, where all the tourists abandon town between ski season and summer and leave freaks like us to shop killer deals and eat Slack-priced meals without making reservations or having to lock up our skis.
If you're a spaz and like being surrounded by tons of annoying tourists, please, by all means, go to Sun Valley in the On Season, and I'll take this same town when it's sleepy and friendly and offering me 20% off of the awesomest sweater coat I've ever seen/bought/wearing right now.

It was a grand time in keeping with our yearly tradition of girlish debauchery and Kelli has even more photos if you're interested in seeing these same pictures from another angle and with better composition.

And now I'm going to go sober up because I've got a fishing trip soon which will involve me drinking like a fish rather than me catching any fish and after this grand weekend when I became closely acquainted with the new adult beverage known as a Gin Buck, I need some time off from the bottle.

Wow. I didn't realize how much of a lush I sound like until just right then.