Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am now officially right.

This seems ever so IN YOUR FACE-able, don't you think?

It may have taken the effort of a thousand souls, the stars aligning and at least two miracles to get my beekeeping permit in this city, but the fact of the matter is that I now have it and anyone who wants to dispute me on the matter of one beehive in my backyard can TOTALLY SUCK ON IT.

Because I am officially right, now.When it comes to bees anyway. I can have one hive (not two, as the permit so elegantly states with its super advanced checkboxes) on my property until 2012, which will extend on indefinitely because of course I will be renewing this IN YOUR FACE permit promptly when the time comes.

I think you know that I don't let things lapse. Oh no. That's very un-by-the-book and you know how I am that way.

Which brings me to my second point (did you know there was even ONE point to this post? Probably not. I tend to ramble.), which is that I imagine that beekeeping is one of those things that brings out the not-by-the- book in people.

I imagine this because would you look at the number of my permit and allow its meaning to sink into your mind for a moment?

Go ahead. Look...

Permit #3? Really? There are only three other beekeepers in all of this 10th largest city in the US? Hrm...

Now, sure, I'd like to think that I'm the #3 beekeeper in this city of 1M+ people because I'm so groovy and unique in my personal hobbies that I'm only the 3rd person to consider such an endeavor, but I really doubt that to be true.

I mean, I'm unique and groovy and all, but not in a 3 out of 1,000,000 kind of way. Maybe more of a 1 in 10 kind of way. Whatever. What I'm saying is that I'm sure there are more than three other people keeping bees in their backyards in this city.

The fact that animal services has record of only three just means that the other, say five, people who are keeping bees are doing so without a permit. And I can't say I blame them. That shit is a pain in the ass. And expensive.

At least this explains why the animal services officers, who showed up at my house to "inspect" my hive, called me a "Bee Collector" when they were making their notes.

As though I go around in a windowless van snatching unsuspecting bees off of neighborhood flowers or something. Or maybe swiping them with a net off of blossoming fruit trees. Yes, that's more like "collecting". The other thing is more like "snatching". They definitely didn't call me a "Bee Snatcher", though that would have been cooler sounding.

Snatching stinging insects sounds so extreme, don't you think?

Anyway, not important.

Important is that I have my permit - all #3 of it - and in 8 days my bees will arrive and be ready to go into the hive which I will be formally installing this weekend now that all of our backbreaking labor has secured them a forever 2 square feet in our yard.

See that hose back there? Yeah. About there.

THEN - the vegetables get planted, the grapes, cherries, apples, kumquats, limes and lemons blossom, and the bees will have something to do.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Good job, peckerhead.

I think I just threw up.

Know what that is? A LOT of Bermudagrass. So much that I had to use a full grown dog for perspective.
See how the big pile of weeds looks like it could eat Jada if it were to spontaneously (and frighteningly) animate with a born-in beef with canines?

Yeah - that shit's scary.

Even scarier is when it's growing all surreptitiously beneath and between FOUR layers of landscape fabric, just looking for the tiniest slice of leeway so that it can burrow its evil way through the soil and into *GASP* the vegetable beds.


Now you see why we had to kill it. KILL IT UNTIL IT WAS DEAD. Of course, time will tell whether we actually got it all, but we used Bubba's tried and true method and that soil is now buried under, yes, a 5th layer of contractor grade landscape fabric and will soon be buried under more bark mulch. 

And my careful and protective eye will be scouring the landscape for any suspicious looking sharp green pointy-ness that has the smackings of Bermudagrass. And if I see any - BOY HOWDY - that stuff better have its insurance premiums paid in full because I will not rest until I've eradicated every last hairy root of it.

For those of you who said you cultivate and reseed and grow this stuff with reckless abandon - keep yourselves east of the Mississippi, k? I see you walking around these parts, all weighted down with stray Bermudagrass seed, I might accidentally roll you in a tarp like the one you see in that photo above and set you out at the curb on trash day.

I just can't have Bermudagrass re-infesting my yard! You understand! Don't look at me like that!

In other less psychopathic news, I am excited to report that every last sumptuous crumb of that glorious hand-crafted garden soil made it back into the beds successfully.

And, phew.
Granted, it doesn't look that sumptuous right now, since the soil has dried a bit since shoveling (and shoveling and shoveling and shoveling) it back from the big steaming pile, but I assure you, its suptuousnessocity is unparalleled. It's had more than two weeks to simmer and smolder and cook down the nitrogen-rich fava bean matter under its plastic sauna and when I shoveled it back into the beds yesterday, it was crumbly and wormy and dark and OH JUST THE BEST.

I may even go out on a limb here and say that when I test it, and I will test it, the deficiencies will be slight - if at all. I know! Big talk! But we'll see...I'm still going to test it to be sure.

And I suggest you do, too - test your soil that is. It sounds like a pain and like it's really boring and there are some people out there who will argue whether those soil test kits from the hardware store are really accurate or meaningful and I am here to tell you that my answers to all that are Yes, Yes and As far as I can tell, they are.

To be clear:
Yes - it's a pain
Yes - it's really boring
As far as I can tell, these soil test kits from the hardware store produce meaningful results

And if you doubt me on any of these points, I will direct your attention to the 200+ lbs of tomatoes I grew from just four plants and the 273 lbs of produce I grew altogether last year
You don't grow 273 lbs of produce from a 90 square foot garden if your soil's shitty, folks. And, at one point, I had shitty soil. And then I tested it. And I amended it (organically) accordingly. And then I grew 200+ lbs of tomatoes from four plants in one season. So there. If the soil test kit was useless, then oh well, it at least got me to adding enough amendment to bring my soil into good health WITHOUT overdoing it.

See, that's the other end of the soil spectrum. You can have inert and useless soil like I had or you can have scorchingly over amended soil with too much of any number of things and actually end up frying your plants. Both ways are bad.

So, why be bad? At least in this case. You can test to find out just how much you need to add and then add it. And then grow a lot of tomatoes (and cucumbers and melons and beans and herbs and peppers and tomatillos - but always two plants - and so on). 

Just don't neglect your soil, OK? If I were Bob Barker, I'd be saying something about having your pets spayed and neutered right now - it's only the right thing to do.

But that's not my thing - do with your pets what you will - but with your soil - please test it. And then grow a lot of fantastic vegetables.

And if you find Bermudagrass - TEAR IT THE FUCK OUT. Then lay down another layer of landscape fabric, cover it in bark mulch (that's next) and get to installing your bees (4/7), planting your vegetables and living happily ever after this summer, peckerheads.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Front yard meadow: 100% suckah free

For those of you sitting around biding your time until you could be, like, See Finny, I told you that meadow was going to look like crap, I guess you'll just have to sit around some more.

Though, from the looks of you, that's about all you're fit to do anyway.

Oh my god! So mean! I know. It happens. When people make fun of my garden, I fight dirty.

Good news for all you other people who don't suck: the meadow is alive and believes spring is coming!

Last frost date was March 1st, so it's been spring for a while, bitches.

Silly meadow. It's been raining for two solid weeks. And, there have been tornadoes nearby.

When you weren't looking, the first day of Spring came and went. We were here, where were you?

Oh. So, OK. Apparently this meadow, what with its xeric-ness and low maintenancenessocity, has something of an attitude.

I guess I would, too, though if I could do all this with nothing more than annual rainfall and a few minutes of weed pulling from time to time.

Do not cross me - the Great and Powerful Garden of Oz. Or something like that.

Funny thing about this crazy ass meadow of mine is that the former fescue lawn, which was dug up, flipped over, covered in landscape fabric and mulch and then planted with 280 grass plugs, 800+ wildflower bulbs and a multitude of wildflower seeds has really begun to flourish.

Like it's saying to us, Hey people, this is what I wanted all along when you two idiots where out here mowing me and fertilizing me and aerating me (what the hell was that anyway?). All along I just wanted to be flipped over, ignored and abused.

Fescue is so weird. And also a little bit sado? Strange.

That tall dark green spikiness? Fescue.

But - the shit is growing like nuts now and, to me, it's very cool. It grows in those lovely tall dark green clumps you see there and then it goes to seed with these tall fancy seed head wands that look ever so lovely intermixed with the native grass plugs, flowers and bulbs.

Unless you're Bubba.

If you're Bubba, you want to mow it down. You want to trim and tidy it because Fescue is Lawn. You want your wife to go out there with pruning shears and tame that shit. You want tornadoes to stop following you to California as though they can still smell the Kansas on you.

It's a hard time for Bubba.

Fortunately, he's let me be about the fescue's crazy growth. He's too distracted by our new tree's growth instead.

Take it from me, there's growth. Next time maybe I take a picture that shows that.
And, frankly, I doubt he ever thought we'd get to the stage we are in now with Wife's Funny Front Yard Meadow Idea, so he's probably operating mostly out of relief that no one has called the neighborhood blight committee on our asses.

See. That's progress. Toward something.
Yeah, because compared to last year at this time, we were looking a bit sparse in the Front Yard department. At least now it looks like we're trying *something* even if it's not *something* people are used to seeing. Specifically, a random ass meadow in the middle of the suburbs.

Though, to the credit of my neighbors, I've had more compliments than concerns about the state of our yard and, so far, no one has come by asking me to clear up the eyesore of our overgrown lawn.

Who would have the heart to mow down snowdrops anyway? Only monsters. And communists.

And if, by some wild hair inserted into your bum, you want to get rid of your lawn and put in a xeric meadow, I have just the article for you. Or, you could read through the long winded version on the blog here where you get extra swears and side stories at no extra charge.

Step 1: Flip the lawn over
Step 2: Plant one million grass plugs
Step 3: Plant one million wildflower bulbs
Step 4: Fill in the blanks
Step 5: Hunt down neighborhood jackasses that let their dogs poo in the meadow

I'm such a giver.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thai spicy [PRIZE UPDATE]

So, you know when you get Thai food and they give you the choice of how spicy you want it?

Like: mild, medium, hot, spicy or Thai spicy...

Well, they do at our favorite Thai place. Also, never order anything "Thai spicy", even if you think you are a bad ass because you most certainly are not a Thai Hot Bad Ass. Just a word to the wise. Unless you like to have the condition known as Firehole. Yikes.

Anyway, I'm adding extra Thai spicy elements to the aforeblogged giveaway thanks to a reader suggestion (Thanks, Barb! Everyone - thank Barb now.)

"Like" me on Facebook and get an extra entry
Tweet, "I'm a spicy lady @finnyknits" and get an extra entry
And the regular old, comment on the post and get an entry

That's three total entries to win the Chile Pepper Book and packet of super awesome future poppers jalapeno seeds. 

Plus, fun thing, I'm now probably offending two cultures with my spicy commentary. Hooray for that.

So, like, get to cyber-stalking me in the name of books and chilies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you like SPICY women? [PRIZE]

A friend of mine has a hysterically poor-mannered husband.

He's known for sharing colorful stories at inappropriate times and in the presence of his and other people's children.

I, of course, find him endlessly amusing and often recycle his stories and comments in my own life and to much the same type of responses. Mostly looks of highly satisfying horror or, in the case of my beloved Bubba, wails of laughter.

God, I love that man.

Case in point, the story of his childhood cleaning lady/housekeeper/maid/whatever they called them back in the late 70s.

The woman was a total kook. She hailed from somewhere in Latin America, but due to his story telling skills and lack of personal interest and therefore knowledge, he has no idea where, exactly. He just says she's from Mexico, but who really knows. We know she spoke Spanish, but that's pretty much it. She just wouldn't say.

Anyway, this gal worked for his parents at the house for a lot of years doing what I imagine full time housekeepers do: clean, cook, whip ill-mannered little boys with broom handles - you know, back then you could do whatever.

The unique thing about this woman was that she was a wild saucy spirit, a characteristic not often associated with hard-working cleaning ladies, and she foisted this wild saucy spirit onto her subjects. Specifically, my friend's husband and his brother.

I don't know all the details, but the two that I *do* know have gotten a lot of mileage in my house and the house he shares with his wife (my good friend) and their three kids.

1. The woman referred to herself as "The Sexy Mexican Maid". (Note: She was not sexy, in the conventional way, and she never told him from where she *actually* hailed.)

2. She used to taunt him and his brother by squeeling, "YOU LIKE SPICEEEEEEEY WOMEN?" when they'd arrive home from school with their friends, pick up the phone to make a call or basically do anything where another party was present so that the embarrassment level would increase significantly. She'd then cackle uncontrollably and go back to vacuuming or whatever.

So, yeah, these two bits of the housekeeper story were told in separate intervals, with the kids nearby and at a very high volume, on numerous occasions and have, as such, worked their ways into regular conversation at our house.

And so now let's grow jalapenos.


That was my smooth segue into the PRIZE portion of this otherwise fully random post about the unspoken comedy in the world of undocumented labor.

See, a friend of mine sent me a link to this fabulous type of jalapenos that are specially bred to be super stuffable. Basically, they're jalapeno popper peppers. Like, you could stuff them with cheese, roll them in breading and fry them and have the best white trash bar treat in all the land.

OBVIOUSLY, I had to have them. Because I am a spicy woman. Do you see the connection now? I knew you would. FYI: This has nothing to do with any sexy Mexican maids.

But, when I was on the site buying these seeds, of course I had to do a little looking around in their shop to support their cause and all and came across their awesome looking book that tells you how to best grow, cook and use the peppers.

Why, yes, I DO think I need that, too.

Especially since this will involve me starting seeds indoors and then moving them out of doors, which is something we all know I suck at.

But there was something else I decided I needed in order to get through this whole growing of SPICY peppers exercise - someone else growing them with me. So that when mine totally croak and fail, I can see whether my friend's seeds have croaked and failed and then not be suicidal.

Or perhaps we both grow so many jalapenos that everyone gets pickled jalapenos or stuffed jalapenos for their birthdays.

Whatever - I need a partner in crime for this, is what I'm saying. Be my pepper friend? Do you like spicy women? IS ANY OF THIS GETTING THROUGH?

The prize though, and how to win it...


Do YOU like SPICY women and/or peppers?
Do YOU want to maybe make some WT appetizers for a late summer BBQ?
Do YOU want to discuss the legal and ethical implications of undocumented labor?

If you screamed YES at your computer for either of the first two questions, you should first look around and make sure no one saw you do that because - douche - and then you should leave a comment to the effect of, "Yes, I'll grow peppers with you, Finny and also I don't care what your POV is on undocumented labor because that story was still funny."

If you had any reaction other than, "Er. No." to the last question, please forget you read this post and just come back another time. I only say that because *I* don't want to talk about undocumented labor, I just want to make fun of it in a juvenile and ignorant way.

And then I want to grow peppers while one of you grows them, too, and while the rest of you stand around going, "These douches are totally going to blow this. I'm glad I choose Team Melons because THAT'S where the rubber meets the garden."

You guys are such judgers. Also, that Team Melons thing doesn't really make sense, so HA!

Alright, I'm losing it. Cast your comments to win the book and a packet of these seeds by 4/1 and I'll announce the winner on 4/2.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

1:31:03 or M:UD:DY

How do you feel about looking at and talking about mud for the next few minutes? Yeah? Good thing.

My eyes can't unsee this.

Dudes, it was so muddy.

It rained all Friday night and HEY FUN it was still raining when I woke up to my alarm Saturday morning at 6:30 (ew) and as I drove for an hour to the East Bay it was raining yet still, so when I parked and headed over to the shuttle, I just got ready to be wet for the foreseeable future.

You know, one of those moments where you just clamp down and steel yourself against the forthcoming cold and damp. You try to forget how nice and warm and dry it is in the car. You say bye-bye to dry socks. You know, the usual.

Except this was not the usual. Because this wet and cold was totally a side dish to the big enchilada which was The Mud.

When I showed up at the start area, picking up my bib and chip on race day rather than my usual Super Anal Retentive early packet pick up the day before strategy, all things were already pretty wet and muddy.

FYI: Prepare to read the words "Mud" and "Muddy" about every other word in this post because, you know.

Thankfully, I didn't do my usual Show Up An Hour Before Race Time thing because I knew the weather was shitastic and didn't want to stand out in it, so once I got my bib on and did a fair amount of stretching, it wasn't long before the half marathoners (god rest their souls) were off, and we in the 10K group were only 15 minutes behind them.

I heard rumors of a 50K group coming over the hill from a very early race start (something in the 6s), but until I saw the photos of that group, I really didn't believe these people existed. The craziness! It would have to be extreme! And, according to the photos, it was.

Minor creek crossing. FOR 50 KILOMETERS. Holy.

For us though, heading out on our own 6.2 mile adventure, we set off around 9:15 with light rains, a decent surface under our feet (AKA It wasn't mud) and a bit of wind swirling around our cold faces.

Have I said it was cold? It was cold. Something on the order of 45 degrees at race start. Which, not too bad under normal circumstances, but it was also raining, so standing around wet in 45 degree weather while the wind does its thing is, like, well, chilly.

We were all basically shivering and looking all big eyeballed at the race announcer getting ready to get started, especially when he announced via the loudspeaker that, "By the way, folks, there are a lot of creek crossings out there, so don't let me catch you in the post race photos tip-toeing around the edge of any of these creeks because it's not going to work. Just blast right through them."

HOO-ray. I should have worn a wetsuit. Or perhaps brought my snorkel.

But you know, at this point I was already settling into my It's Raining mindset. The one you get like when you're camping or whatever and it's cold and there's nothing you can do about it so you just go on as though it's perfectly normal to be standing around in the rain being wet.

Because at that moment, the biggest thing concerning me was the wet and cold.

So we set off. Somewhere about 9:15am.

That girl that looks like she's being Rocky Balboa there with the hood - that's me. Douche.
The first, say, 100 yards of the trail was fine. A little splashy, but totally unremarkable aside from its actual runability.

Beyond that? Well, let me summarize: dark brackish mud, sticky milk chocolate mud, oddly chunky what-appeared-to-be limestone mud, mid-calf deep creek crossing, horse poo mud, narrow uphill slippery single track trail (also mud), knee deep creek crossing, wide foot well ridden mud trail, a gate, creek crossing, trail that's a creek, huge slippery hill where you have to hold on to trees on the edges to get to the top, giant downhill slide some chose to ride on their asses or as though they were ski-skating, creek crossing, big puddles, uphill mudslide, people falling up, downhill mudslide, people falling down, 10K turnaround loop (AKA A mostly flat creekbed which was obviously full and running), more mud, more creek crossings, more puddles, more mud, OH MY GOD FLAT ROCKS HOORAY, more mud, a gate again, brackish mud, creek crossing, creek crossing, totally remarkable runable trail, DONE.

If this woman weren't giving me my finisher's medal in this photo, I'd be a might pissed she's blocking my heroic finish.

Or something like that.

Don't laugh at my hoodie/hat/sunglasses combo - it was cold, raining and mud was flying at my eyes. SHUT UP, YOU.

What I'm trying to say was that all my yet unfulfilled desires for playing in the mud and splashing in puddles were fulfilled yesterday and WHOOPS whetted once again because now all I want to do is go back out and do it again.

Y'all - it was a fucking blast.

I got to stomp through high water, with people around me mind you, just as fast and splashy as I wanted, without a care for who or what got wet, like a hundred times. And then, THEN, I got to splash, splosh, smack, squoosh, through 5+ miles of the stickiest, gooshiest, most suck-the-shoes-off-your-feet muddy mud that a five year old person could hope for.

The mud pies I could have made. Seriously. The best ever.

And then I practically sailed across the finish line like a god damned warrior and had a really good grilled sausage from the super great post-BBQ spread put on by Whole Foods and some other race sponsors.

It's hard to describe how lovely it was to stand amongst a couple hundred other muddy, sweaty, soaking wet runners in the rain eating a very good grilled sausage while other muddy, sweaty, soaking wet runners came trotting across the finish line. Including the half marathon winner man who came in while I was loading up my sausage (wow) somewhere around the 1:56 mark.  It was just lovely. And fun. And people were rad. And I can't believe I can have such a good attitude about an event that involved me being 100% wet and muddy and sweaty and cold for nearly 3 hours.

Between the shuttling and walking and getting ready and actual running and then eating and standing around and shuttling some more, I daresay I came close to becoming one with my running clothes.

My shoes - I hardly recognized them when I got to my car.  I peeled them and my drippy socks off for the drive home. When it came to cleaning, I'm not ashamed to say that there was a hose involved.

Brooks' before hosing.
Brooks' between hosings.

However, despite the treachery, I managed to come home from a 6.2 mile run with 1400' elevation gain and a time that was exactly the same as my training runs on solid, but equally steep, ground.

I'm taking that for the win.

Race fries courtesy of an old favorite.

Another one of those posts that people who think blogs are stupid will use as an example of why blogs are stupid.

Is it dumb to love a bowl? Like a big plastic Easter egg-toned polka dotted bowl with giant cracks in the sides and warped sides from too much dishwashing?

Because if it is, I'm, like the dumbest woman ever.


I totally love this thing. And, like the self-made assless cargo pants I JUST BARELY let go out in the trash last week (yes, it took me a few weeks to actually get them out there, despite my previous promises. Shut up.), it should probably be retired to the recycler to be made into, I don't know, big plastic bowls or something.

I'm going to assume you want to know how a person such as myself can generate such an attachment to a big plastic bowl, so I'm going to tell you, and if you're one of those people who think blogs are stupid because of posts just like this, where some rambling moron proclaims their undying love to a failing inanimate object like a big plastic bowl, well you can just fucking well click away from this blog and never return because I'll certainly be posting on similar subjects in the future. I have some flip-flops and a spiral notebook just waiting for their chances, after all.

We don't need you here in Big Plastic Bowl Loving Land, OK? Bye, now.

For those who remain, Hi - you are my people.

See, back in the day 10 years or so ago, I got laid off from a job in the tech industry along with about every third person in the Bay Area. It kinda sucked because that job was my first real job out of college and so it sorta blew to have to go back out into the world, just half a year after proclaiming my college education a success by pointing to my new shiny post graduate professional Job In My Field,  to go find The Next Job In My Field. This especially sucked because, like I mentioned, every third person around me, most of whom had had more than one six month employment In Their Field since graduating from college, were out hunting for the same four jobs that existed.

It wasn't a particularly good time to be looking for a job In My Field, is what I'm saying. Nor was it a good time to be looking for most any job in the Bay Area because our whole local economy was bursting along with the Tech Bubble.

I'm sure you heard about it. It was on a lot of news programs. Though unless you had invested in an IPO or happened to live nearby, your interest probably went something like, "Oh." and then you went back to whatever you were doing, like maybe eating popcorn or something similarly pleasurable.

Which brings me back to the bowl.

When I got laid off from my tech-based job, I immediately and for a while fruitlessly, began hunting about for a new one. It was not an especially enjoyable task - you know, being broke and jobless in the, at that time, most expensive place to live in the country. Even less enjoyable? Having to go into my former office on the weekend to collect my scrawny belongings and all the file folders I could carry.

Hey. They were in my desk. I'd touched them all, so it's not like anyone else would want them. Have I mentioned I don't wash my hands after I go to the bathroom?

I'm kidding. That's grotesque.

So, I had to go clear my shit out of the office given I didn't have a job anymore and, for whatever reason, I was allowed to do so without security's supervision (I'm starting to understand why this particular company went under), and it was a pretty depressing task.

Only two things saved me from inevitable emotional demise.

1. I used my thumbtacks to write GO GIANTS on my office wall.
2. I had a big package waiting for me on my desk, which was not on fire or filled with poo.

Also, I think there was a bottle of champagne abandoned in the office next to mine, so I took that, too. For sorrow drowning, of course. I considered it part of my exit package.

Anyway, after I finished with my festive farewell wall art, I opened the package while sitting on the floor of my used-to-be office, and beheld something so perfectly comforting, I could hardly wait to get home to use it.

This perfectly comforting thing came from one of my best friends, who at that time lived in Rome, and who knew me so to the core of my being, that she sent me this thing so that I'd perhaps not throw myself from the rooftops due to my torturous job that I'd just lost and was all the better off for having been left without.

The box held a few US Weekly-type magazines, some boxed movie-type candy, a few packages of microwave popcorn and this Big Plastic Bowl.

It was prettier and less crack-y at the time. In fact, it was glorious.

To say that it made me feel way better and almost like I could go on with my life is an understatement.

See, this friend and I were living parallel professional and personal lives at the time (albeit she was living hers in the Eternal City and I was living mine in the Imploding City formerly known as San Francisco), so I knew that it took a significant amount of financing and time wrangling to send me this gift of commiseration and well-placed cheer, and I won't lie - I might have shed a tear.

Though I'll admit to finding the bowl humorously ironic with its pastel polka dots of cheer even then.

Well, to bring this mind-numbing story closer to its end, I brought this bowl home and proceeded to eat popcorn from it for the next, I don't know how long has it been...11 years. Every time thinking about my friend and the ways our lives have changed and how we're still very close but now don't have to decide between $1 Suave shampoo and conditioner because we can't afford both. In thinking on it a moment, not only did I use this bowl while wearing un-conditioned hair, I'm 100% certain that I wore those now assless cargo pants (which had an ass back then) while eating popcorn from this very bowl, as well.

Oh yes, that for sure happened. Probably 100 times.

Unfortunately, dishwashers are sort of hard on big plastic bowls, especially when they're wedged between way too many dishes and pots on the bottom drawer of a dishwasher, so inevitably the sides got warped with time. And also the formerly clear plastic turned that milky etched hue you see now. And the base got all those fractures that plague old plastic cups and the like.

Why, that's not round now is it?
If this were glass, I'd be concerned.

And some time ago, I think after we moved into our house, the bowl came away from a particularly rollicking trip through the dishwasher with a crack on the side. Which then beget other cracks.

And now the bowl is something of a hazard, which is something I've had to admit to myself after more than a few minor wounds caused by said hazards.

I may be sentimental about bowls and pants and coffee mugs purchased from Etsy that were handmade by some faraway artisan who's handy with a paintbrush (another time, friends), but when the sentiment goes from nostalgia to bloody mess, my emotions change.

Basically, I am snapped back to reality where I'm not actually sitting cozily on my couch enjoying delicious popcorn while watching a movie with Bubba. No, I'm actually standing in my kitchen rinsing my bleeding palm under the sink while the dog eats popcorn from all the corners of the living room, which is where it all went when I pitched the muther effing god damned sonuvabitch bowl into the atmosphere after snagging my fair skin on its cracked edge.

I start to feel a bit dumb, is what I'm saying. Like why am I holding on to this malevolent bit of plastic when I now thankfully have the means to get another bowl to hold my popcorn. In fact, not only that, but I have a perfectly good bowl that even says Popcorn right on it, sitting on the top shelf of my cabinet right now which was a wedding gift from someone else who obviously is also a good enough friend to know of my lifelong love affair with popped corn.

Though, I'll have to get it down from its high perch.

Anyway. Yes, I still have this bowl. In fact, had some popcorn from it yesterday after I sat on my ass and watched bullshit movies while recovering from the muddiest, rainiest, most creek-crossing-est trail run in recorded history.

And I will tell you about *that* when photos are posted. To give you a preview of that post: Mud. Fun. Mud. Rain. Mud. Skiing in trail shoes. Mud.

For the bowl, well, I haven't yet thrown it into the recycler. It's actually in the dishwasher at the moment, perhaps awaiting its final farewell with the machine of its demise. Say your goodbyes, my old friend. Next week - you're going in the recycler.

I'll always love you. Even when you're filled with dried blood meal for the vegetable beds. out to the potting bench for next year's vegetable harvesting? I don't know. I just wish I knew how to sew hard plastic. Perhaps you have a date with that big roll of duct tape?

Friday, March 18, 2011

When life gives you tornados, make daffodils.

We got a tornado warning and then I nearly met my end slipping on godonlyknowswhat in the kitchen today, so since everything's completely jacked already, I figure putting up a super random post is at least acceptable, if not totally apropos.

So, as far as random goes, here's some random Spring, in case there are funnel clouds touching down in your neighborhood even though you don't live in Kansas.

We should really have been cut and put inside for this weather.

I was told it was Spring. Who lied?

I am too dainty for the likes of funnel clouds.

I'm California's state flower, not Kansas's.

We have nothing to say on the matter.

Perhaps I should be nailing up plywood over this door.

I got nothing.

Pretty sure the bird bath is going to crest soon.

Strawberry. That's all I got.

And then, if you care to read on to more randomness, allow me to share a short little story about two meek tiny women who stood hovering endlessly and unmoving around the desserts in the cafe today, simply pointing and making small yumyum noises while I tried to stand patiently behind them to get the cannoli I'd been staring at since the moment I came in to get my lunch.

When they refused to either move, reach meaningfully for any dessert item or disa-FUCKING-ppear, I finally reached around them and took what I wanted.

And then received the four pronged stare of the mightily jealous.

They made it try to look like they were appalled that I'd circumvent their presence in order to get at the desserts, but really I know they were deeply sad that they themselves weren't going to indulge in a cannoli the size of my thumb. Because OH you know that will go right to my toothpick thighs, Heidi and what not.

I think you know that I took that weeny cannoli down in two bites right in front of their gaunt faces and also, BONUS, felt zero guilt because I barely had any lunch. Then I took another dessert because, why not, let's see if we can get these girls to pass out from their envy.

Then I walked out of the cafe and, without spilling my drink, skiied halfway across the cafe's entrance atop an errant Ihavenoideawhat that had the tenacity to be waiting for my sharp boot heel.


Now my hip flexor feels weird. And I have a race tomorrow. And we have tornado warnings. And daffodils.

There - that about sums up the randomness of this day, don't you think?

Happy weekends, out there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekend of Great Denial

My Weekend of Great Denial was absolutely fabulous, thanks for asking.

In denial of what, you ask? I'll tell you in a minute.

First, look at these nice photos of me being happy in sunshiney weather.

There are ZERO things not to love about this photo.
So fucking sunny. I won't lie. I got a little red of the shoulders.
Hint: We're the home team so YAY!
Love to lie by the pool SO MUCH. (Photo courtesy of
Also, love to root on my friends while THEY run in 85 degree heat and I stand around SO MUCH. Go Donk! (Photo courtesy of

So, yeah - good weekend.

While the foretold "Dodger Crushing" wasn't much of a crushing but more like a stern reminder of who WAS the World Champs (Hint: Awesome Giants) and who WAS NOT (Hint: Shitty Dodgers), everything else went exactly and perfectly to plan.

I saw two of my best friends for extended periods of time during which we clucked like mother hens, drank a bit of good booze (big love to Daily Dose on their brunch bloodies), warmed my winter-chilled skin and bones in the blast furnace of Scottsdale's spring weather (85 degrees in March? Really, now.), laid about next to the pool with my margarita, spa'd it up like a lady of leisure, hugged my god kids with all my muther effing might and had my #1 experience with Spring Training.

Word of warning: When the "Best available" seats that the online ticket site returns, "GA" in the section box, you may want to consider getting tickets elsewhere OR bringing a beach blanket and a LOT of sunscreen.

Why? Because once upon a time I purchased tickets in just such a manner only to have the usher refer to "GA" as "GRASS" and point us to the lawn. You know - like bleachers except without seats. Like, sit your fanny on the grass and roast, you no good out of towner. 

Thankfully my good pal Linda (see above) is an absolute trooper and a big baseball fan to boot, so the concept of sitting on the lawn for our baseball game was no biggie.

Sidenote: Big bonus to your friends having kids - they see any outing that doesn't involve them having to take care of another human being as AWESOME even if they have to sit on the grass at a baseball game with the direct sunlight beating down on their extremely fair skin.

And the game was awesome. We had big beers (why are they only sold 24 ounces at a time in Spring Training? It's hard to get to the bottom of that before it gets too warm. One must drink quickly.), toasted our winter white bods on beach towels, ate giant soft serve ice cream cones and hassled the Dodger douchebags warming up in the bullpen below us.

So, good times all around.

And a good way to live in denial of the fact that, while I was sitting my ass on the grass at the ballgame, I should have been performing my final training run before my 10K trail race this weekend.

And if you're saying, "What's the big deal, it's just a 10K?" right now, come over here so that I can punch your face.

Let me refresh your memory: this fucker has an elevation gain of 1400'. Also, as I came to find out in the email from the race directors this morning, there is also standing water, wet weather creeks and a lot of mud to contend with throughout the course.

Also - YAY - it's going to be raining.

So, you know, as I was lying about in Arizona, all blissed out on top shelf booze and sunshine, I was in no way preparing myself for the torture that is yet to come in the form of rain, elevation and mud.

Please, by all means, commence to crossing your fingers that I make it through this race and live to sit my ass on another sunny baseball field, because my Weekend of Great Denial was fantastic and this upcoming race is most certainly going to be otherwise.