Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Your last randomness for 2013

Remember random blogging-by-bullet-points? Yes, that's this.

The semester is over and I killed it, but almost not.
Three classes plus work experience, which was just me getting credit for working in the greenhouse which you know that I love, resulted in three As and a P because I guess you can't get true letter grades for working.


And since the semester was moving by so smoothly and my grades were nice and solidly in the A range, I did that naughty cheater thing of calculating what I needed to get on my final exams in order to hold on to my As.

I was tired of studying, friends, that is the truth.

As my newly polished math skills showed, I really only needed to get a 56% on one exam and, like a 60-something on another to hold my As.

Fine. I shall slack completely off, not finish the reading and take the approach I took during my undergrad times which was to ride into the final on a wave of "If I don't know it by now, I'm not going to know it." and just see how it goes.

Except that I totally still studied because I've become a total A-loving nerd and couldn't face the idea of What If I Don't Get an A on the Final?

And then, even with all the studying and not slacking off, I managed a 74% on a final exam that I should have aced if only I'd been studying the right content.


A is for ass. At least with that final. Except that I didn't get an A on that final. I got a C. And let's not go into what that might stand for because the point is that I still got an A in that class even though I'm ashamed of myself for that hideous C that I wouldn't have even known about if my professor didn't post all of his grades online.

Which got me wondering how many final exams I've not aced but have still led to getting As in the class and then the anxiety started to take over and WHATEVER THEY'RE ALL As AT THE END OF THE DAY AND WHO'S READY TO DRINK?


That was a long bullet. Sorry.

I started to look the gift horse in the mouth and then decided to shut my yapper.
So, I got this nice little scholarship at the final hour and it's paying for my final semester of classes and I'm stoked.

Free money is a nice thing. Not having to pay for classes is a nice thing. Getting a refund to my credit card from the college is a nice thing.

Going back to the scholarship awarding committee to tell them that their organization's name is improperly punctuated is not a nice thing.

The irony is that it's an organization for writers and the name of the organization itself is, in my opinion, improperly punctuated. Like, it needs an apostrophe and you know how I feel about apostrophes.

But I decided not to include that with my scholarship application and I've decided not to include that with the thank you letter that I will be sending for the award and so, yeah, now I just have blue balls of the brain with regard to the unrequited finger-wagging over the missing apostrophe.

Probably also that last sentence made very little sense.

Weeeeeeee! Randomness.

My feet are Old As Fuck forever plus bonus Weird As Fuck diagnosis
So after my initial Old As Fuck diagnosis of my Crossfit-inspired foot pain and the x-rays that proved that I had extra Old As Fuck bone growth causing extra Old As Fuck foot pain, I decided to be a grown up and accept the referral to the podiatrist to see if he could do something about this Old As Fuckness.

Plus, also to confirm that I didn't have gout. Which I don't. Hooray for that.

What I do have, apparently, is Weird As Fuckness.

See, I made an appointment to see the podiatrist at 9am. So, Bubba and I traveled up to the doctor together via train because we were going to the city to go bowling afterward and that is the most Old As Fuck sounding day of events I've ever constructed.

Starting over.

I had an appointment to see the doctor at 9am, so I showed up at 8:45 to fill out the paperwork they were sure was going to take 15 minutes to complete prior to my appointment, and at 9am I was sitting in the doctor's exam room with my shoes off waiting for his excellency to bestow his footly wisdom upon me.

When he actually walked into the room at 9:01am I'm sure I looked surprised because I expect that all doctors are going to be late because in my experience they mostly have been.

What I did not expect was to have the doctor register my existence with surprise and then go on to tell me that he expected ME to be late because "All 35 year old women are late to appointments."

Um, not THIS 35 year old woman, thankyouverymuch and why are you saying that I'm 35 years old because obviously I'm still 23 which is my perma-age and I'll thank you to remember that next time, Dr. FIX MY FUCKING FEET.

I think he saw the offense on my face because of the fact that I'm punctual as fuck - like, I take time management seriously and do not accept tardiness in myself or others - and also who are these 35 year old whores just wasting everyone else's time by showing up to shit late all the time and ruining my good reputation?

Bubba assumed he was talking about 35 year old women who are mothers and trying to wrastle children into minivans against their will and such, but whatever. My mom was a 35 year old mother at one point and that gal IS NEVER LATE.

I love her for that. And other things, too, but I love her a lot for her punctuality. It's an admirable trait. Enough about my lovably punctual mother though, this is about my Weird As Fuckness.

So, I was weird for the punctuality. Fine.

Then the doc proceeded to tell me that there wasn't much I could do about my "minor" foot pain since the bone spurs weren't "too bad yet, so just wait until the pain's really bad and then come back for surgery or maybe we can make you some orthopedic insoles for your shoes that are really expensive or you could customize some Super Feet or whatever quit your bitching while I tug haphazardly at your toes and feet while you recoil in fear and horror."

Or whatever. That's basically what he said. And did. The haphazard tugging was truly terrifying.

And when I pressed him on what the recovery time was like for the surgery, since I'm not super wild about this whole "wait until the pain's really bad and then come back for surgery" thing, he said that it's only a few days off your feet and then a month and a half in a boot, but don't worry because you'll still be able to drive when the boot's on your left foot.

Except that I drive a stick shift.

Which is apparently Weird as Fuck.

As in he looked up from the wrastling of my feet he was so terrifyingly doing to eyeball me with surprise and then say, "Oh. One of the remaining few. Hmmm..."

Then he made a comment about how long my jeans were (I've been meaning to have them hemmed, but they were tucked into boots for the day so I didn't think I'd be taking lip off of anyone for it), gave my feet a few final horrifying tugs and left me with zero resolution other than that I was now Old, Weird and destined to be old and weird. As fuck.

Oh, and also I have arthritis in my feet and that doesn't get better, only worse, so look forward to that you old, weird, punctual, stick-shift driving freak.

So glad I went to the doctor.

I slipped on my too-long jeans while we were bowling and so had to have three glasses of champs to feel better.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let's not talk about it.

I'm starting this post in a dangerous way and that is to say, without a specific purpose or message in mind. And while it might seem that this is how I write all of my posts, let me assure that it is not.

Even if the message is retarded, racist, inflammatory or pointless - almost 100% of my posts have started with a specific purpose. Even if that purpose is as stupid as telling you that I'm happy.

But today - nope. No point. I only have things that I *don't* want to write a post about.

Like my commute situation and how people in California (and elsewhere? I can only speak for Californians in this respect) need to learn that, on a two lane highway, the left lane is for passing and the right lane is for driving and if you're in the left lane and you're not passing people driving in the right lane then GET THE MUTHER FUCK OUT OF THE LEFT LANE YOU NON-PASSING SLOW-DRIVING COW DICK.

See why I didn't want to write about that? It's useless. We can't do anything about it and it's not going to change and we all deal with shit traffic so who cares, is my thought.

Who cares because look at my new favorite hat.

I'm also not quite ready to go into detail about why I'm not going to be a tractor-driving farmer after all, because I feel like I need to sort of synthesize that whole deal for myself before I go throwing it out there for the world to judge and see.

You'll notice that I put "judge" first because I know how the world and I are similar and it is in our desire to pass judgement. I'm judging myself right now and it is not pretty. Or nice. But there are lots of swears, so at least I know it's me doing the judging. When I have my story straight for myself and I've completed an adequate amount of self-judging, I will put it out there for y'all to judge at will.

Meanwhile, check out these muther fucking leeks, man.
This is also kind of a vague useless hint. Enjoy.

I'm also studying for finals, which I definitely don't want to write about because I'm pretty fucking burned out on studying as it is and talking about it doesn't improve the situation any. Thankfully I'm going into finals with solid grades, so if I eff up and bomb them all, I can probably still get As.

That is the delusion I'm allowing myself anyway.

Study Cocktails. They're a thing.

Then there are the holidays which I'm blatantly ignoring. I'm not even making fun of people's absurd yard-mounted holiday cheer interpretations because they seem a bit lackluster and I think that's because it's been pretty cold here, by California standards, and these lazy fucks aren't getting out into the yard to vomit lights and inflatables all over their homes because I can't honey, I'm cold. 

Not that I mind, since it means that there is less hideousness from which I need to recoil on a daily basis, but it sure is making my nightly dog walks less amusing and why do you come here during the late months of the year if not to ogle and judge the horror that people call Festive Decorating.

I'll pass, mama.

I'm going to the spa for a massage today and before you get all It must be nice on me, I'll tell you that it's with a gift card I received as a thank you for administering sub-cutaneous injections to my friend's aging cat for 10 consecutive days and I'm spending the rest of the day studying for finals and writing this blog post so shuddup. I am, however, not working in the greenhouse today and for that I am grateful/excited/anxious/sad. I miss my plants when I can't check on them and I worry that a pest settled in the moment I left yesterday and it is taking this opportunity to irretrievably infest the greenhouse to the point of We Must Burn The Greenhouse To Save The Greenhouse.


The garden. Well, I could talk about the garden, but there's not tons to say since it's winter and the recent cold snap (It's been in the 20s. I know it's been colder wherever the fuck it is that you live.) has slowed everything down to a crawl and the only activity I've been doing out there is covering and uncovering shit so that it doesn't freeze in the night. The worms are still actively eating my trash and the bees are tucked away safely in their hive with the entrance reducer down to the size of a pinhole, so at least my garden creatures are safe and somewhat happy.

Spoooooooooooooooooooooky patio

And yeah, the last thing that I definitely didn't want to write a whole post about was the weather. The cold. People's reactions to the cold. People's UN-reactions to the cold. People's reactions to other people's reactions about the cold. Weather, pardon the mind-numbing pun here, is polarizing. And with its polarizing nature come people who want to, like, fight about how cold it is, or how NOT cold it is, or how it's colder here than there and oh you'd die if you were where I live and I can't believe you're even saying anything since what you have is not cold THIS IS COLD and such.

Dudes, I get it. It's winter everywhere in this hemisphere. Some places it's more extreme than others. And some people who live in places where the weather is less extreme than other places get cold when the weather seems warm enough for you to be outside in a bikini pruning the hedges.

Good for fucking you. Good for fucking me. It's not something that I want to get into beyond look at what my fingers do when I walk the dog in 30 degree temps without gloves on.

As my hysterical friend commented, "Phone hoooooooooooooome".

I just think it's funny.

My body is a weirdo. I have shitty circulation that runs in the family and this isn't even the worst example of shitty circulation that my body has exhibited today. The other morning I went for a run when it was 23 degrees out, wore all of my running gear including gloves, tights, a hooded vest, long sleeves and earwarmers, and when I got in the shower afterward, my entire body was red from the cold and my hands looked like marbled beef with white spots where the blood had stopped flowing/frozen in place and red spots where the blood was still moving/trapped between frozen spots.

I laughed and called Bubba into the bathroom to look at my bright red bod and freaky marble fingers. He laughed at me, smacked my red butt and went back to bed. Because he is classy and hilarious and thinks the cold makes my body do weird and amusing things, too.

Thanks to our annual ski trips, he's had lots of chances to get a load of these cherished moments first hand.

I'm just glad the weird thing my body did wasn't DIE.

So yeah, I'll work on a post about the Not-A-Tractor-Farmer thing and, meanwhile, you can tell me about the shit that YOU don't want to talk about.

There must be something, right?

Something that's just been hovering around in the back of your head and it's annoying, but not so annoying that you'd dedicate any internet space to it, except now you have the perfect opportunity and I want to know it.


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Oh noooooooooooooo [Thanksgiving Edition]

There's a reason that Jada's not wearing a collar and it's not because she's a dog nudist.
Like I was saying, last week was going to be soul-crushingly busy and frantic and crazy and then busy some more.

Actually, did I tell you that or was I just thinking it as I was writing that last post of randomness drunk with the power of a fully functional keyboard?

I can't remember.

Either way - last week was a self-proclaimed hell week of shit to do, people to not kill, events to not ruin, crops to harvest, a house to de-Addams Family, tests to study for, projects to finish, holidays to not destroy and mother-in-laws to not offend.

We got so close.

Bubba mastercrafted this amazing trip for his mom so that they could drive up the coast from Pismo Beach and stop at all of the monarch butterfly migration sites, eat artichokes, visit me at the greenhouse and just generally enjoy some California in November which is noticeably different from Kansas in November, which I'm sure you can all imagine.

Think sunshine and shirt sleeves instead of bitter cold and I NEED ANOTHER DOWN JACKET STAT.

You get it.

And they got it. The trip was perfect. Better than I could have hoped. The butterflies were present and accounted for even though everyone was all ready to ruin our parade by saying that "Oh, they're early/late/extinct this year. They won't see any." (thanks, asses), they ate many artichokes and artichoke-filled foods, they came by the greenhouse and botanic gardens for a tour during gorgeous weather - it was great.

I was feeling like not a failure as a daughter-in-law except for the whole working-the-whole-time-she-was-here thing.


Then, much to my surprise, the success and not-fucking-it-upness of the week continued. We managed to get the turkeys we'd smoked (we = Bubba with a side of me sitting on my dead ass) sliced and packaged up with the other Thanksgiving-y things we were bringing to my folks'. We got to my folks' place in good time and, despite the crowd, talked to most everyone we'd set out to. We ate Thanksgiving-y things (but not too much somehow). We drank drinks (and not too many)(except after the oh nooooooo, which obvs.).

Does seeing this much turkey make you want to barf now?
We thought we were in the clear.

My MiL was leaving the morning after Thanksgiving, so as we sat down to have the festive holiday pie course (SO MANY PIES WHY?), I'll admit that I jinxed the crap out of us.

I thought to myself - we've made it. We did not fuck up my MiL's trip. We did not forget anything we were supposed to bring. We are not the most annoying ones at the party. We're golden.

And then it hit me.

The smell.

Of skunk.

And terror.

I bolted to the living room to find Bubba outside waving his arms maniacally, eyes bulging (and watering dramatically) and the dog throwing herself frantically against the deck, face first, trying to rid her puppy eyeballs of the two barrels of skunk spray eating through her mucous membranes.

It was not a pretty/welcomed/pleasant sight. As you can probably imagine.

Imagine this cute face looking as sad and eye-drooly and foaming at the mouth as you can. Then know that it was much worse and gross smelling.

I think you know that my first reaction, upon seeing Bubba outside trying to find a lighter so that he could put himself out of his misery, was to bellow a hearty, "Oh noooooooooooooo" while simultaneously removing the suede boots I was wearing for the first time in months.

I certainly wasn't going to be bathing a skunked dog in suede boots. Or the silk dress I'd put on in an effort to appear like a girl for once.

After the initial reaction, I think that you also know that there was a loud "FUCK" as I ran back to my mom's room to find some old clothes to change into, a bunch of old towels, baking soda and peroxide and a change of clothes for Bubba.

I'll spare you the grim details of the dog bathing, but suffice it to say that the 2 1/2 hour ride home in Bubba's new truck, dog sequestered in the back with the window down on a rubber mat, and my MiL (who does not enjoy pets to begin with) up front sitting quietly waiting for it all to just be over with pretty much blew the doors off of our Successful Visit With Mom.

We were so close.

And after tallying up the damages (bras, underwear, jeans, shoes, shirts, belts, collar, towels, bottles of Tecnu, peroxide and baking soda), this one skunk + dog that knows better than to play with the stinky black and white kitties cost us around $500.

Plus the forever ruining of our nostrils and the forthcoming cleaning bill from the shop for whenever Bubba gets his truck in for service.

Meanwhile, Jada's had so many baths that she's gorgeous and fluffy and exhausted enough to allow me to cuddle her but she still smells like rank skunk ass, so no one's cuddling. We're all just eyeballing her and waiting for her to stop reeking so that we can all YAY drive to Montana in a month where she'll get snowed on which will recharge her skunking for our enjoyment.

Hooray holidays.

Don't even look at me, dog. You smell like skunk and shame.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Randomness - now with proper and consistent capitalization.

It seems like this blog's schedule is turning into a weekly one, rather than the multiple-times-a-week one that it was for oh so many years, and I've decided I'm OK with that.

It's better than the not-but-once-in-a-big-fat-who-knows-how-long one that it was for a while there, so that's good.

Also, we got a new keyboard so that I can capitalize things properly and, for that, we can all give Bubba a big inappropriate hug or high five or whatever other virtual thing you can manage because you know I'm not letting any of you whores near the awesome keyboard-replacing Bubba.

HA! I kid. I won't stop you. Unless you're a verified whore. In which case - stay back, nasty.

Whatever - it's that time of the week when I have two minutes to scrape together and since I have this nice keyboard with a fully functional shift key and I'm wearing my new hoodie that has thumbholes and isn't worn thin in most areas so it's keeping my fingers warm enough to type - I'm posting.

Because I'll tell you what - next week is not going to happen blog-wise. Or maybe even survival-wise since I have shit stacked up from the moment I finish this post until the Sunday following Thanksgiving and if I don't have a stroke, I'll be damned impressed.

So let the randomness abound, I say!

Random Thing #1
The bees are smarter than me

The first one of you that "Yeah, duh"s me is getting a kick to the throat, by the way. 

Meanwhile - yes, the bees have outsmarted the bee "escape" that I added to their honey super (the box on top of the boxes that hold the babies...oh fuck, just read this and then remember the other times I've told you what a honey super is) and so each of the three times I've gone in there to take the super off and then collect the small but mighty harvest (it's the first season for this colony, so I'm not really supposed to have any honey at all), I've found those bitches just still wandering around, stowing honey and having some sort of MIND YOUR BUSINESS party in there. 

It's annoying. 

I want that super off, the honey in jars, the wax in lip balm and the bees in a big clump around the queen right in the center of the brood boxes. 

But no. These whores are all, "Um, we'll do what we like and don't tell us our business."

Better keep away from Bubba is all I'm saying here. OH YEAH - and also - GET OUT OF MY SUPER.

Random Thing #2
My mother-in-law is coming to stay with us for Thanksgiving and my house is like the mother fucking Addams Family lives here

So, as you likely know, I have a cleaning lady. Her name is Flora and she is very sweet, the dog loves her, she does not know how to close a pocketknife once she's opened it out of what I'm assuming is curiosity, and she really doesn't know what the fuck a cobweb is. 

Or a spider web. Or a line drawing of a spider web. Or tela de arana. Even though that is Spanish for spider web and she is a native Spanish speaker.

So, since our beloved Flora won't clean the spider webs because of her not knowing/full knowing and not wanting to get near them, we're doing it. 

Because I can't roll the dice on her finally realizing what cobwebs are on Monday, when she's scheduled to "clean", and then actually cleaning them. And I can't risk my sweet and proper Southern mother-in-law being swallowed up by a spiderweb upon entering our house - the smaller and better lit Addams Family mansion.

So, Bubba and I are cleaning this week and it's an annoying task that makes me want to forget what spider webs are, too, so suddenly I understand what's going on there.

Random Thing #3
Because I like things in threes even though that makes me sound like an OCD psycho

I'm registering for the final semester of my horticulture degree right now and that was WAY too fucking fast. 

Yeah. In just a few short months (though I can't bear to count it - so you can if you want. I graduate in June. Go nuts.) I'll have my horticulture degree and be launching myself off in the direction of the low-paying-though-hopefully-highly-satisfying-or-at-least-mostly-enjoyable field of horticulture. 

What will I be doing? Not being a fucking farmer, that's for damn sure.

Well, not in the traditional sense, that is.

And I realize that this is sort of a big bomb to drop as a random #3 line item at the end of a random post about bees and low-performing cleaning ladies, so I promise to come back to this at some point in more depth, but for now just know - that whole thing about "I quit my job and I'm going to be a farmer" is not happening the way I imagined it would.

Like, I'm no longer planning to find some land somewhere, get a tractor and a crop rotation plan and start building beds for field crops.

No. There will be no field crops in the future of farming for me, but I'll go into why and why not and what there will be instead in a future post. I also promise to be more focused and sense-making in that future post.

OK, OK, OK - no. I'll try to be more focused since I'll admit to kinda liking this whole random thing. As long as it's still in bulleted list form. 

That's as random as I'm willing to get.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This just in - I'm old as fuck.

Yeah, so, the SHIFT key is still not fixed on this recalcitrant keyboard, so it'll probably fuck up and not capitalize things the way I'd like, but i can't be going back every two seconds to slam down the SHIFT key to make it work, so let's just all be grown ups and ignore my capitalizing errors.

Even though I totally judge myself and others for any grammatical and spelling errors in writing. There. I said it. I judge you. At least i judge myself, too, so there's that. And - hey - there's a big old uncapitalized "i" back there for you all to judge along with me.

WOO ISN'T THIS FUN? Probably, not really.

Anyway - I'm apparently old as fuck.

Remember when I busted both big toes doing stupid Crossfit? I did. I sprained both big toes while lunging too enthusiastically with the overhead bar.

I don't know why I was so enthusiastic about it, but I'll just go ahead and assume it was the atmosphere of enthusiasm and the 60+ year old woman next to me overhead pressing triple the weight I had on my bar.

Seriously - these people are crazy in shape. When they're not terribly injured, that is.

So yeah, I sprained both big toes doing these stupid lunges and the result of which was the overly enthusiastic growing of bone in the joints of my toes to replace that which was fucked up during the injury.

The doctor referred to it as "trama related bone development" or something similarly fancy and non-swear using, but you get my meaning.

I sprained the toe. The toe tried to heal by making more bone. I now have too much bone there. It hurts.

When pressed for more info and Xrays and referrals to a doctor who could help me walk like a normal human girl again, I heard more doctor-y words that confirmed that i am, in fact, 110 years old or some shit.

Words like, "Degenerative Joint Disease" and "Bone Spurs".

Awesome. I'm degenerating.

AKA - I'm dying. From the feet up.


Then Bubba was searching around the Internets for whateverwhoknows and came upon some info about gout.

Have you heard of gout? The disease that afflicts people who don't ever drink water, eat tons of salt, don't exercise regularly and get horribly swollen and painful joints and then have mind-bending pain when doing something like, OH I DON'T KNOW, trying to bend their toes to walk?

Yeah. So, Bubba thinks I have gout now. Even though I drink water constantly and exercise daily (hourly? I mean, it's nearly constant at this point). And honestly, I don't think he's far off since my dad has gout and it apparently runs in our family and OH YAY gout is hereditary.

Good times.

Another affliction that sounds old and awful is probably in my feet.

So, there's your weekly I Throw random Information At Your Face with Irregular Capitalization and, to bottom line it for you, I'm old as fuck.

Let's party.

just to prove to myself that I'm not ready for a wheel chair and a diet of prune pudding, here's a photo from my bike ride the other day during which time I traveled into the Forest of Nisene Marks by way of the mountain bike and I'll tell you that I used half of that fork's travel, so that means I can't be all of my 110 alleged years just yet. Right? Right.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The new way we're doing shit around here

Just a picture of a cute dog about to eat a squirrel in the woods

So, i have all of these random things i keep wanting to tell you guys about but i get all, "Oh that can't be a post, it's just like one thing about lettuce." so then i keep it in my head until i have more things i can add to a post so that it's not just about lettuce or how this fucking keyboard's shift key is broken but i don't have time to fix it so I can't reliably capitalize things and keep my posts all nice and accurately capitalized and shit and oh here we are.

so instead of waiting until i have time to fix the keyboard or collecting any other items about which to post so that i can appear coherent in any way, i'm just forging ahead with what will likely be a very disjointed and most certainly ill-capitalized post about lettuce so that we can hang out again.

hey, friends! i grow lettuce now.

i mean, yes, i grow it at home in the garden because that's where we eat salad, of which lettuce is a main ingredient, but what i really mean is that i grow aquaponic lettuce (meaning it grows in water that's enriched with the power of fish poo) along with my other crops in the college greenhouse now and it's rad.

And because i've been so nerdy about introducing you to all of my other crops, i thought i'd at least keep some semblance of a theme, here.

Everyone, this is lettuce. Lettuce, this is everyone. and hey! the shift key worked, like, twice right there.
so, yeah - lettuce. i grow it all hydroponic-like in our greenhouse and then when there are a bunch of baby seedlings left over, i bring them home to my garden because i don't know when to just knock it the hell off.

one week's worth of leftover lettuce seedlings and then OH HEY here are some seeds that were donated to the program/my front yard meadow.

turns out that the hydro lettuce also likes soil growing because it's flexy that way.
Also from the world of I Miss you guys So i'm posting even though my Shift key doesn't work fOr shit - i'm not doing NaNoWriMo again this year.

i mean, i just don't see any way that it could happen. even if a hungry wormhole opened up and swallowed half of the projects i'm working on right now, i'd still be a bit frantic to be putting down 1,667 words a day.

So, boo. next year I hope to get back at it - writing stories about purple alien boyfriends with three dicks and such. which, yes, i did write about in year 1 and no i don't actually plan to revisit. it was sort of...how you say...absurd. perhaps i was drinking when i set out on day 1? i mean, maybe.

And while we're getting used to the new format of I Blast Randomness at you In the Name of Us All still hanging Out - here's some shit from the last month that i've wanted to post about but failed to find the brainpower/time/energy for. in bulleted list form because, hello, we've met...

  • my neighbors started putting out Halloween stuff in September and then had their thanksgiving stuff out while there were still Halloween candy wrappers on the ground
  • there are still Halloween candy wrappers on the ground in my neighborhood this morning when i walked the dog. CLEAN SHIT UP YOU ASSHOLE KIDS.
  • i'm still getting As in my classes despite the mind-scrambling chemistry and math that has been foisted upon my brains
  • I got suddenly and grossly ill a few weeks ago and had to cancel all my commitments in order to effectively curl up into a ball and try my best to die for two days which sucked
  • The winter garden is totally in and i THINK that this year i'll actually have a good crop of onions for the first time ever so WOO (used the CAPS LOCK for that one)
And then i'm sure there are a million more random things that i could throw at you, but i'm really sick of looking at this poorly-capitalized post with all of its lowercase letters that should be uppercase, so i'm going to leave you with this.

this being the new format of finnyknits in which i blast random thoughts at you without any regard for the formatting of the post. so, you know, it's like most of the internet now.

Chat soon, my lovelies.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to remove a Dietes (this is a long one)

In a word, with RAGE, but we'll get to that.

See, friends, I was having an awesome day. I just had the one lecture first thing in the morning and then I'd decided that since I didn't have to write a coaching update or study for an exam or work on a project or do anything extravagant with my crops at work, that I'd go for a bike ride.

OK, strike that - I *was* going to go for a bike ride until I was reminded (frequently and painfully) that my feet were still fucked up from Crossfit waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in January and that the doctor had ordered me to get them X-rayed for fractures and I still hadn't done that because LO I had no time.

And, hey, here was some time right here on this fair Tuesday.

So, I actually gave up on the idea of a bike ride (boo) and decided I'd do the stupid boring responsible thing of getting my X-rays done. Fine. I'll drive aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way to Palo Alto to get my feet X-rayed and who cares if it eats my whole day, maybe I'll be able to walk again without sharp pains racing through my feet.


Then an angel, who is actually one of my "little friends from school" (as Bubba likes to call them) told me that the medical foundation I go to (and fucking love) has a location about fifteen feet from our campus.


So, I did that. I went there, they X-rayed my feet in under 10 minutes and BAM! I was on the road to freedom.

Oh what to do with all of my freedom and approximately five hours of pseudo-free time?

I'll tell you, that drive home from Santa Cruz was positively saturated with fantasies of productivity and getting-aheadness.

You know, like oh my god I'll finish Donk's birthday gift, assemble stuff for sale at my next event, send some long overdue emails, play with the dog, make a decent dinner, plant a few things in the yard, get ahead on my reading for next week's class, study for next week's plant quiz, etc.

It was nice to feel like I might actually be not totally crushed for time for once in my life.

And then I came home, went to pick up Bubba's dry cleaning from our porch and saw the thing.

The thing that would mean that my dreams of an afternoon filled with luxuriously productive getting ahead projects and dog cuddling were going up in effing smoke.

Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

What you're looking at there is the thing and the thing is the water line riding against the foundation of our house.

Did you know that we do not live in a castle with a moat? Because we do not. And that is the only reasonable explanation for why one's house might have a water line right up against its foundation.

But again, we don't live in a castle with a moat (though, wouldn't that be badass?), so this was alarming.

Like, time to make up some new swears alarming.

Like Oh Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo alarming.

But, I'll be honest here, I wasn't ready to give up on my afternoon of productivity. Even when faced with the disaster of There's Standing Water And An Obvious Leak In Our Pipes Which Is AT THIS MOMENT Eating Away At The Foundation Of Our House floating right there staring at me.

I went inside. I shut the door behind me. I stood over the bar and I contemplated crawling inside and not coming out until all of my gin bottles (and there are a few, I'm just saying) were empty.

Then I put away the groceries and took a deep breath. I pet the dog and took some more deep breaths. I realized that THIS was why our water bill had been so high. I took another deep breath.

And then I went to find a screwdriver to pull the lid off of our water meter box so that I could be sure that this was a leak and not just the result of...oh, I don't know, some prankster leaving our hose running until the moment I returned home and then turning it off?

I don't know. It's the only thing I could think of to do: Make sure that there's really a leak.

So, after making sure that all the water in the house was off, I went out to the meter with my screwdriver, pried the lid off, swept for black widows (Hi, bitches! Move your ass! There was a big fatty in there. Blech.), flipped the cap of our meter back and BEHOLD the leak indicator was spinning like it had never spun before.

Hooray. We officially have a leak.

Also, duh.

And then I was put to a decision: go back inside and proceed on with your day as though you never saw the leak and try to not think about it guiltily as you ignorantly go about your day that is now ruined by the knowing of this awful fact OR go put on your work clothes and do the right thing - attempt to fix this thing?

I'd like to say that I raced inside, threw on my work clothes, tied my hair back, gathered all the tools I could possibly need for the job and raced out to the front yard to fix this leak in under 10 minutes without even getting dirty PHEW! but that would be a lie.


I went back inside and made a deal with myself.

I would do a *few* of the things that I'd really hoped to do and THEN I'd put on my work clothes and go fix this mother fucker and THEN I'd take a shower and drink a lot while making dinner and hoping that Bubba would forgive me for the hour in which I did not fix the leak but instead finished gifts, made herb salts and fed chips to the dog.

Also, my favorite mechanism for cheering myself up is to sit in the backyard and feed chips to the dog. She loves chips. And when I have chips, she will sit next to me with her cutest sweet face on and let me face cuddle her and everything as long as I keep feeding her chips.  We share the chips (as in, one for me, one for Jada) and it convinces me that somewhere, deep down in her dog brain, she loves me a lot. It cheers me up and I needed cheering.

So, yeah. I did that stuff and then I bid a fond farewell to my clean clothes and nicely blow dried hair and made up face while donning my real work clothes and a shitty ponytail.

Have I told you I hate wearing ponytails? I do. I hate it. My head looks like a jack-o-lantern when I'm in a pony and it whips around all annoyingly and I hate it.

Anyway, whatever.

I went back out to the front yard in my No Fucking Around-wear, with my shovel, a bucket, hedge pruners, trowel and a bad attitude.

Which is when I discovered a few things:

1. There was definitely a leak. HELLO DUH.
2. No amount of scooping and digging with the shovel was making any difference so this must be an active and sort of big leak.
3. Trying to figure out where it was coming from with the sunuvabitching Dietes in the way was never going to work.
4. I have been wanting to get rid of (read: BURN TO THE GROUND) the Dietes for a while anyway, so maybe it was time.

So, now we're getting to the How to remove a Dietes part of this post.

And now you can see why RAGE is the number one tool you must possess in order to get these things out. Because I will tell you with 100% certainty, that if I was not completely soaked in rage at having my beautiful afternoon choked to death by this bastard leak and the prospect of removing the only plant in creation I hate as much as Bermudagrass, I would not have been able to get this fucker out of the ground.

Because Dietes root in the earth's core.

No, really - they do.

And it takes all the rage one 35 year old woman with a shovel, proper shoes and a good amount of physical strength (all without Crossfit, thankyouverymuch) can summon up to get these things out of the ground and into the street yard waste pile for Pinchy to pick up on Thursday.

Dudes - the thing tried to kill me. It took me no less than an hour and a half to get it out of the sodden sinkhole into which it had tried to disappear and into the street and it left in its wake a mess out of Revelations.

OK, I'll be honest, I have no idea what's in Revelations beyond the concept of apocalypse and this thing certainly felt apocalyptic.

Think I'm being overly dramatic?

Well, #1 - Eff you and #2 - no.

From the yard...
Across the sidewalk...
Time out for cute salamander that I rescued from inside the Dietes. Hi buddy! You're safe now.
And into the street.

 Yeah, it sucked A LOT.

BUT - and this isn't nuthin' - I figured out where the leak was coming from (sprinkler manifold), turned the water off to the manifold (handy shutoff valve I LOVE YOU) and left it clear to attach a new manifold on a day when I've recovered from this hot fucking mess of an afternoon.

So, there you go. Remove your Dietes. Or, if you're smart (unlike moi) - NEVER EVER PLANT A DIETES EVER.

Then, also don't go inside to sift through the mail and find your annual property tax bill.

Thanks a lot, dicks.

OK, I'm off to drink heavily and feed chips to the dog.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning off the I'M SO HAPPY in the name of good old fashioned bitching

Yeah. I know. My I'M SO HAPPY LOOK AT ME WITH ALL MY PLANTS WOO didn't go over so hot with you people.

I understand. It IS more fun when I bitch and am not annoyingly aglow with happiness and shit.

And so thank god there's Michaels.

Yeah, never thought I'd ever say that sentence either. For the same reason YOU never say, "Thank god there's Michaels." and that is because the place fucking sucks. 

Like in the actual real sense of the word, "sucks", because it sucks the ever-loving life force right out of you just thinking of going into the store. Does it not?

I know it does for me.   

And then there's the actual going INTO the store and then shopping there and then trying to find something that YOU KNOW they have because you've bought it from them before but OH they've decided to rearrange the store in order to make room for the all-encompassing Christmas bullshittery that has expanded into every corner of the store regardless of the time of year and you can't find it but for the searching to the bone you're doing and you'll be good god damned if you're going to ask any of their homicidal/suicidal/hating the ground you stand on "customer service associates" since they don't know anything more than when their next break is so all they're going to tell you is that they "don't carry that. Sorry." as they jam a cigarette into the corner of their mouth and eyeball the front door.

Yeah. You see what I'm getting at here. This is a rant about Michaels, which I believe should be "Michael's", with an apostrophe indicating possession because I doubt there's a big group of men named Michael all bought in on this one soul-crushing craft store chain, but whatever. That's just one reason that this store may be the first one in the history of my shopping to have all of its employees punched in the face during a single one of my visits and I'd feel fully justified in doing so just for not being able to use an apostrophe like a normal person.

Let's take last Sunday, for example.

I needed some small Kraft paper envelopes, handled boxes and some plastic zipper bags for an event I'm doing next weekend and they're the only ones in the whole wide world who typically carry these things aside from Amazon where I wouldn't be able to lay my hands on the items to make sure that they were the right dimensions, etc. 

So, over the course of the week leading up to the weekend, I came to terms with the fact that I was going to have to go to Michaels. 


Drags a person down, that thought. I mean, the word, "dread", doesn't even begin to cover it.

So, I did what any normal person would do - I hunted for any possible way to avoid having to go to Michaels. 

I contemplated just buying Ziploc bags at the grocery store. I considered taking two of my products off the roster for the upcoming event. I thought about driving Duchess into a bridge abutment. 

You know - the normal things you might do to avoid having to do something that you know you're going to hate.

Alas, I made it to Sunday - my last possible day to get this done before the busy work/school/work some more week began - without procuring my supplies by any alternate means.

I became sad. Despondent. Pathetic, if we're being honest. And then when Bubba so kindly offered to take us to lunch, I asked if he would be willing to make an extra stop on the way home. 

"Uh...what's the stop?", he asked with eyes darting to the exits.

"Well, you don't have to go in. Just wait for me in the parking lot. I just need to run in for three things really quick.", as I smile innocently all the while knowing that Michaels is to him what Fry's is to me. Which is to say that it is the most annoying pile of shit with a lid on it that's sure to break your spirit and send you home bald from the hair ripping.  

"Uh...what's the stop?" 

He was on to me. I had to just give in. Say it all casually as though I hadn't just prefaced the stop with an offer to just stay in the car.

"Oh, just Michaels, babe. But you don't have to go in."

I am pretty sure I saw his gag reflex activate.

"Uh, no thank you." Smart man, that Bubba.

"Yeah. I don't want to go either. Fuck it. Let's not go. I'll figure something else out. I hate it there so much. I'll go later by myself so that the murder/suicide rampage I'm sure to go on won't also be on your shoulders."

Well, long story shortish - we went.

And it was awful.

They had full shelves of every kind of handled box EXCEPT the color I needed. No, that shelf was completely bare bones empty because they can't stock the store for shit and you can't find anyone to get a stock box down from the tippy top shelf unless you have the gall to start dragging over one of their rolling ladders and then they'll just have you arrested for...I don't know...ladder hijacking.

They did have the Kraft envelopes that I needed, so I hungrily grabbed three packages of them because I knew KNEW that next time I came back they'd be all, "No, ma'am - we've never carried anything like that. Are you sure you're not looking for a really expensive and shittily constructed custom picture frame? Because those are over there in the Christmas section that's all around you." Then when I got to the cash register, after wading through the queue lined with candy from the 1900s and Cheap Crap Bonanza items, I realized that because they can't stock their shelves for shit, the middle package of envelopes I was holding was neon green instead of Kraft colored because they can't stock their shelves for shit, etc.

Then there were the bags. OH THE MOTHER FUCKING BAGS.

People, they're just clear plastic zipper bags. They're not fancy. They come 100 to a package, they're, like, 5"x8" or something and they've always been in the aisle with the adhesives and shit (though, why?) hanging there in 6 or so sizes. 

It's historically been the easy part of my hell trips to Michaels. I save "Get bags" for last on my shopping list because at least that way I'll have something to look forward to after fumfering around the fucking store for 45 minutes looking for something they should totally have but apparently don't, like a small wooden crate (which they now stock, by the way) or small glass jars with cork stoppers. 

But now they've taken this away from me, too, along with my spirit, sanity and faith in humanity. 

To say that I went on a ranting, raving, arm-throwing, aggravated stomp through the store looking angrily and aggressively for the bags/a person to punch in the throat is only a minor exaggeration. I mean, it was basically all of that without the arm-throwing because I was carrying everything else I'd rustled up and I sure as shit wasn't going to lose it and have to go back for it. 

Oh no. 

Finally, after many trips up and down all the aisles it SHOULD have been in, then the aisles parallel to those aisles and then the aisles where it's NEVER been - I finally spotted the bags on a sort of corner end cap next to the wedding stuff.

Because apparently all brides-to-be need a wide selection of clear plastic zipper bags from which to choose. For their wedding. OF COURSE WHATEVER JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING BAGS LET'S GO.

But no. Nothing was hanging in the right spot, so I had to check the actual bags for sizes and then settle for the one bag of the right size that had a ripped open package because it was the only one left in The Store That No One Stocks UGH.


I stood in line for a while, as one always does at Michaels, and to the tune of every Muzak version of soft rock song from the 80s, I contemplated this shitshow that they like to call "Where Creativity Happens".

You know what kind of creativity happens here, for me?

I imagine creating nooses out of festive fake autumn leaf garlands. 

I fantasize about crafting gallows out of balsa wood and decorating them with all of the horrifically pungent faux flower arrangements garishly stuffed into the aisles where real shit that people want to buy should be and then marching the employees down said gallows to their merciless deaths.

I visualize burying the staff in overpriced Martha Stewart hole punches and wine tasting party glass markers and four-to-a-package notecards for $25 and making them beg for their lives while I stand over them on a pedestal constructed from stacked $1 bins waving their biggest metal knitting needles.

I also think about building a fort out off all of the off-brand old-timey candy boxes in the checkout line (Rootbeer barrels? Ribbon candy? Oh, really.), lying down and taking a nap in the inexplicably empty shelves and riding the rolling ladder to freedom - just so that you don't think I'm a total psycho.

I mean, I would never do bodily harm to someone in the name of hating a store, but MAN DO I GET CLOSE at Michaels.

So close, in fact, that I'm sure that one day I'll be able to come home and tell Bubba, "Bubba - I just punched everyone in the face at Michaels." 

And he'll just nod knowingly and give me a high five. 

Phew. I feel better. You feel free to release your Michaels demons, too, now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Holy hell - it's a gardenblahblahblah post

Yeah, so this year's summer garden is HOLY HELL YEAH.

Mostly because of the peppers.

People - this has been my best pepper year in...ever.

I mean, yes, I did plant 4X more peppers than I usually do, but I did that because my pepper plants usually struggle and get all lanky and don't do much more than pop loose a few fruit somewhere around the end of the summer and I get all WHOOPY THERE'S ONE FUCKING PEPPER YAY and then it's over.


I mean, usually, I'm sitting by the plant(s) waiting for it to produce, like, two more peppers so that I can have enough to can ONE jar of peperoncini, and then that one jar comes and goes and I wonder why I even bother with peppers at all.

So, I'll just have the one sandwich then, I guess.

Until this year.

Dudes. This year has been crazy with the peppers. And I haven't even harvested any of the many habaneros just a'dangling from the plants.

Prepare thyself for MOUTH MELTING HEAT.
If you want to get all technical, you can plainly see exactly how many peppers I've harvested on the good ole Finny Gardens tracker, but since that only shows what's been harvested up to the date that I last had five minutes to sit down and add in the tallies, it's not the whole story.

Once upon a time...

...in a garden not so far away...

...there was a pepper showing me its ass...

...some peppers dangling from their branches all sexy like...

...some of them were loners...

...but mostly there were just ONE MILLION OF THEM HOLY HELL.

No. The whole story is WHOA and for the Pepper WHOA, I'd like to thank straw.

Add straw to beds...


Yeah - the straw mulch that I used this year, spread at least an inch thick over all the bare soil in my garden, has worked some serious wonders with pretty much everything it's touched.

Moisture kept in the ground, soil kept warm, weeds kept THE FUCK OUT, homes for spiders - it's good times with the straw.

Also - fertilizing with the worm casting tea on a monthly schedule has been pretty yay, too.

Have I told you that I love my worms? Because I do. They poop a lot and eat a lot and if they had fur, I'd bring them in the house and let them use Jada's dog bed because they'd basically be the same animal.

You're dead to me, mom.

OK, no, that makes no sense, but what I'm saying is that I'd like to cuddle the worms because they deserve it. They're hard workers and their hard work is making the garden super rad this year.

So rad, in fact, that I'm considering ditching both of my composters and expanding my worm empire with a much larger worm bin set up where the composters are because the worm's results from food scraps are way more impressive than the composters'.

But whatever - you didn't come here to listen to me talk about poop. Or did you? Because, no. That's weird.

The gardenblahblahblah! Let's do that...

The tomatoes. Yes - they're happening. They've happened. They're going to happen a little bit more and then I'm going to rip them the fuck out and put in kale and onions.

Meanwhile, the three varieties I planted this year all did well, though some markedly better than others.

The Better Boys did well as always, but not as prolific as previous years because I put them in the garden's least productive spot. In the back where they get the least amount of sun. But they handled it, so nice going fellas.
The Jaune Flamme, last year's surprise hit, did super well and put out probably 1/2 of all of the tomato yield I've harvested so far. Effing prolific if you ask me. Also, remind me to tell you about how orange tomatoes are ripe tomatoes. Oh, I just did. So, just a note to you all, because some people don't get it, orange tomatoes are not under ripe - they're just orange. Don't be dumb.

Ah, the Paul Robeson. This is a glorious tomato. Tastes like a fucking savory tomato dream. It's not super prolific in the producing department, but it's damn tasty. And HUGE. I will probably grow this guy again because WOW it was delicious. Like, on par with the Pink Brandywine to which I pledged my eternal loyalty. Whoops.
But that was it for tomatoes. Just the one bed, three plants, and so far about 70 pounds' worth. There's still more out there  (oh boy howdy is there), so I suspect we'll close in on 100 pounds soon enough.

Yeah. I see you working.

Beyond the tomatoes, I grew beans as always, though this year I also grew the not-pole-type-even-though-I-was-sure-they-were Cannellini beans that are dry and ready for winter soup and stew cooking in my cupboard right now.

I also grew the Forte pole beans, which were good as usual and provided the atmosphere in the garden what with their handsome galvanized Bubba-built tepee.

At least the tepee looks good.

I grew a new variety of watermelon that sucked ass, even though I did get to enjoy one fruit off of the thing before giving up completely. I'm going back to Moon and Stars melons next year because this shit with the only-producing-a-few-tiny-fruits thing is not for me. Especially not when I give the thing half a bed of gorgeous soil and it sorta looks around and goes, "Meh."


And then there were the muther effing cucumbers.

Holy hell

Ah, so pretty and innocent.


But oh so cute.

Innocently dangling


Would you like some cucumbers? Because I have a few extra.
People, I'm good on cucumbers for a while. Like, I may not even miss pickles by the time we get to next spring so I may not even be hovering over the raised beds with the cucumber seeds pinched between my anxious fingers waiting for the soil to warm up to the point where I can finally AT LONG LAST AND SHIT plant the new season's cucumbers for pickles.

Seriously. That's how many pickles I've made and eaten this year. I feel hypertension coming on.

This pretty photo will comfort me when I can no longer bend my fingers due to the swelling

This is, like, 1/100th of the pickles I've eaten this year.

Then there's the impromptu squash patch that I threw together in the front yard when my Meadow Clean Up resulted in some unsightly bald spots that I felt would be better filled with squash.

Somewhat less unsightly.

So, I planted two pumpkins (gifted from a friend), a zucchini, a Delicata and a spaghetti squash (gifted from the neighbor) and everything gave up and dwindled except the zucchini which has been surprisingly under control. Which I suspect is a result of the lack of watering I gave all of the plants. Which is probably the reason why the whole Squash In The Front Yard experiment, like, barely worked.

For the first time, a CUTE zucchini plant. In no way scary.

But, I got a few zucchini and I'm not running around frantically trying to figure out what to do with them, so that's a nice change.

OH! And we got hops. Hops from our first year rhizomes totalled out at around 2 dry ounces, which isn't bad for three baby rhizomes that looked like dead sticks when I put them in the soil back in the early part of the year.

The Cascades were...CASCADING. Yes. That's cheesy.

But, come on. They were.

Kind of amazing that this dries down to just 2 ounces, but I'll take it.

That's enough to brew one five gallon keg of a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, so I'm good with it. Plus, I have a lot more than that from my hopyard at school, so we're in the black when it comes to hops.

Which barely makes sense when I read that back to myself, but I'm not changing it because it's already typed and WHOOPSY moving on...


We also had a lot of basil this year. And those purpley and specialty types of basil (lettuce leaf, Thai, etc) that always sorta hang around doing nothing and not growing to any impressive degree, have actually done quite a lot this year.

See? I can be awesome, too. Jerk.

Italian Large Leaf transplanted from my hydro leftovers



Purple Ruffles

Lettuce Leaf

Lettuce Leaf - clearly showing off.

I'm into it.

Also, I'm into the 8+ pounds of Concord grapes we had, the millions of pounds of huge tomatillos from which I made and canned many jars of Salsa Verde, the handfuls of kumquats that I ate while standing around contemplating the rest of the yard, the first Baer limes and the Gravenstein apples. Those were all really awesomely good, too.

So, yeah. Now that the summer garden's coming to an end, I'm moving on.

Because we're going to have to eat something this winter and it ain't going to be just all popcorn and gin cocktails. I mean, not all the time. That would be expensive. And probably someone (hi mom!) would stage an intervention.

So, on deck for the winter garden is Red Russian kale, Waltham 29 broccoli, Pacific Gold mustard greens, Red Baron onions, Circus Circus carrots, French Breakfast radishes, Parisienne carrots, Hollow Crown parsnips, a bunch of herbs and companion plants like alyssum, chives and dill.

Plus, you know I'll plant some shit in there that's not on the list just because I'm a sneaky bitch like that. Also because of my not having any self control.

So...that works for gardenblahblahblah,  right? Is it possible that I forgot anything?