Monday, April 27, 2009

Soylent green

I got all hippie and back-to- the-earth and nature girlish, and decided to gather some wild nettles and make soup.

I learned a few things along the way.

  • One pair of latex gloves is not enough of a barrier to prevent nettle stings.
  • Two pairs of latex gloves are not enough of a barrier to prevent nettle stings.
  • Nettle stings sting like a son-of-a-bitch for more than 24 hours.
  • One pair of rubber kitchen gloves IS enough to prevent nettle stings.

Here they are, mostly de-bugged and washed. (SHUT UP! You eat bugs all the time.)
After making a huge mess in in the kitchen, (because i always make a huge mess when there is a blender involved, because there are always unfortunate blender events, which is why i drink my margaritas on the rocks and thank god my kitchen is already green,) soup was achieved.

Well, it is pretty. In a super-foods-i'm-eating-algae sort of way.

It tasted like......weeds. Like a freshly mown lawn. It wasn't bad, just kind of boring and grassy. I used garlic and onions and even a potato, so i was puzzled by the lack of taste interest.

So what did i do? I went and gathered more nettles yesterday and this time i am going to try them sauteed.

Free food is free food people!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time Travel

Today in the kitchen i look up from my work in the sink and see a single red tulip that i have placed into a glass because the stem broke and it would no longer fit into the vase with the others.

It captures me. I go back in time forty years.

I am 10 years old. We are living in Virginia and it is a glorious spring day, one of the first of the year. I am out in the yard, lying on my back beneath our flowering crab apple tree with my right arm extended up into the air. I am hoping that if i lie still long enough, one of the chickadees peeping around in the tree will come and land on my finger. I read about a girl in one of my books who did this. That the book was fiction does not deter me.

After a few minutes, bored and birdless, i turn my head to the right and see the most beautiful and unusual red flower i have ever seen. It's huge and its red petals are spread completely open in the bright spring sun.

I leap up, scattering the chickadees from the tree and run into the house to find someone to share my flower with.

My father, responding to my excitement, comes out and looks at the flower and agrees that yes, it is the most beautiful red flower he has ever seen. He goes inside to get his camera and comes back outside with his camera and tripod. While i cavort around him doing a spring dance for the flower, he takes a picture of it.

I run back inside and get my mother, so that she can see the world's most beautiful red flower too.

When she sees it she says "Oh for god's sake Bill, it's just a tulip," and goes back inside.

Deflated and sheepish we move on to doing something else.

For years, that slide was a family joke. The time my dad took a picture of "just a tulip."

I go back to the sink.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Because Clematis kind of sounds like clitoris.

In the past few months three of my blomies have had to close their blogs because of snooping in-laws.

I understand that this is the interwebs, and that it's all out there in the public domain, but what is it that makes people snoop like that, pawing through the archives like Michael Jackson over a small child, even going so far as visiting the blogs of frequent commenters (such as myself)??

I mean, what are they trying to do? Gather intelligence? And to what purpose? Evidence of what?

Evidence of a conspiracy? Evidence of swearing? Evidence of a leather fetish? Evidence of inter-species sex? Evidence that the blogger-in-law doesn't like you? I bet the snooper already knew that. It shows a level of prurient interest that feels creepy.

On the other hand, i wonder if i stumbled across the blog of a family member, would i read it? Probably. Obsessively combing through it looking for something about me (because i am the center of the universe, don't deny it.) No, in reality, i'd probably look it over, and then drop it, because really, who cares?

Of course, i shudder at the thought that my parents might stumble across this blog, because it would really hurt their feelings, and that's just not necessary, but realistically, the chance is vanishingly small, since correctly using e-mail is a major difficulty for them.

Has this ever happened to you? Or have you ever been the discoverer? What did you do? What would you do? I'm just bummed at the blog closures/moving. We all know that moving is a hassle.

Oh wait! That's what my kid did to me. Secretly snooping and reading for a long time until i caught her. Maybe she should answer this question.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just for today, it's a quilting blog


It's my first quilt.

Just the binding at the edges to add. Wheeeeeee!

Here's one of the squares, a cat face. We like cats around here.

And one of Em's favorite book series growing up:

And it's less than a year behind schedule. Better than many a government project.

I think i'm cool, can you tell?

There is a simple yet real pleasure in making something with my own two hands. It would have been much easier and faster to buy a quilt, but there would be no feeling of accomplishment. Plus the pleasure of making something for someone i love, and who will appreciate it, hopefully for a long time.

Thanks for letting me brag.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not a Book Review

Em gave me The Year of Living Bibically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs for Christmas.

I liked it pretty well, as in, i actually finished it. It's a pretty affectionate look at some of the silly laws in the Bible.

But i am not here to give you a book review.

Here is a quote from the book;

It's why i don't know what to do with Jasper. If i give him some religion, then he might become obsessed and go Guru Gil on me. Then again, if i give him no religion, he could descend into moral anarchy. They're both so risky. I feel like i can't win.

Jasper is the author's 2 year-old son. Guru Gil is a religious fanatic.

So, the the obvious end result of no religion is moral anarchy. Nice dude, really nice. I can't wait to tell my child that she's a moral anarchist.

The really annoying part of the quote is that it's pretty casually tossed out, like everyone KNOWS that those of us without religion are amoral, serial-killing, dog-raping, baby-hating, 401k-embezzling, wife-swapping, 7/11-robbing, public-spitting scofflaws.

I am really sick of this attitude. If i am an atheist, i must have no morals. It's just a fact. I guess i need to accept it.

Gotta go. I'm off to steal the neighbor's newspaper and kick the cat.


Under the heading, Jumping on the Bandwagon of Causing Trouble,

Check this out;
Amazon Rank

Apparently Amazon has decided to de-rank any books, etc. with gay adult content. Read a more coherent explanation here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Phoning it in

*Brrring, brrrring*


Hi blog, it's me, meno. Fuck i'm in a bad mood and tired.

And we care about this why?

Because i'm just going to phone this post in.

But...where are you calling from? Any why are you bothering?

I'm not sure where i am. All i know is it's really fucking hot, there are bonfires everywhere, people screaming in agony and no water anywhere. There are even some dudes up to their necks in boiling blood. Oh, and because my public demands it.

Really? Sounds hellish.

I know! And i forgot my chapstick.


I.....i'm not sure if i'll make it. My lips are flaking already.

I don't think i've ever seen you without a chapstick, and a cookie.

NO COOKIES! *whimper*

It really must be hell. Well then, call us if you need anything. Ta ta.



Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Another reason to love Seattle, and a fantasy

This weekend i went to The Edible Book Festival. I took some pictures for you all too.

It's a cake! With a wrinkle!

"Where The Mild Things Are:"

Jello, Wonder Bread and American Cheese!


Not sure why the tiny hamburgers, but loved the ketchup splot.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar:"

This is Curd Vonnegut:

Pretty damned awesome. The portrait is made with cocoa powder. Some people are SO clever.

"The Velveeta Rabbit":

I don't want to eat it, but major points for the cuteness.

The "Bread Badge of Courage", by Steven Craneberry:

This is a book i have not heard of, "Swimming Against the Current;"

And lookit here, it's "Goodnight Moon Pie."

Keep in mind that the whole thing has to be edible.

And after a while, we did eat them, although i mostly stuck to the cakes.


I know this is about escape, and i wonder if the real result would be a feeling of relief or loneliness. Thinking about getting in the car and heading South or East. No reason, just driving. Away. No luggage, just baggage. A roll of $20 bills, a bag of apples and some sharp cheddar. A pocket knife for picnics and a pillow for naps.

No plans, just the misty future.

Nothing bad is going on, but i've thought about this for years. It just seems so free. Probably something that should remain in the fantasy realm.

Friday, April 03, 2009

People are weird

It's not like this is a revelation or anything, but people can be really weird.

Some recent examples from my phone answering stint at the local public radio station during a pledge drive:

1) A man called me and the first thing he did was ask my name. I was trying to be nice, you know, so he would donate money, so i gave him my first name, which he proceeded to use frequently during his ensuing rant about public radio. He refused to believe that i had not been required to donate money for the privilege of answering the phones. He complained that members should be given priority when calling the talk shows to give opinions. And so on. I finally hung up on him after telling him that i was there to take donations, not listen to tirades.

2) A woman who was coming in later that day for her first shift ever called to ask what the dress code was for phone volunteers. Prom dresses or tuxes, natch!

3) A man who was coming in later that day to answer phones called to make sure there would be enough food left for him to eat lunch. We then tried to eat it all before he got there but we failed.

4) One woman called to complain about the show that was currently on the air not being 'inclusive' enough. I gave her the main number.

5) Another volunteer took a call from a man who said he would donate money, but only if someone would come and jump start his car, right now. As if!

I guess repeatedly giving out a phone number over the air invites people to let their freak flag fly.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This must be what being an adult is like

I have a habit that i've been trying to break, a habit that The Mister shares.

In the past, i've tried, half-heartedly, to break this habit. I've blamed my lack of success on the fact that The Mister continues the habit. So it was all his fault, as you can plainly see.

Frustrated, i decided to change my approach, because it appears to be more important to me to change.

What would happen if i was responsible for my own self, and did what i need to do without regard to The Mister? (There's a concept, personal responsibility!)

Maybe i could lead in this. Maybe that would be an inspiration to The Mister. Maybe not, but my fate should be in my hands, right? (Downside: upon whom would i blame my failure with this approach?)

So i decided to change.

It seems to be working. He seems to be following.