Friday, March 30, 2012

German-Themed Post

Today my blog post will have a German theme. My band was invited to play at a German Christmas Market next November, and there is a Facebook page about the festival done by a Greek guy. How this makes sense, I don’t know, but thanks to Banjo Player for providing that blog fodder. Then Toque McToque said I should blog about the words to a lullaby that her grandmother’s Swiss music box played. The lyrics are in German… Coincidence??? They also have to do with one of my favorite topics, rabbits. Here is the English translation (and remember, this is a children’s song):

Yesterday evening, I went out
I went to the forest
A little rabbit sat in a bush
He watched me with his little eyes
The little rabbit comes near to me
So he can tell me this.

Aren't you the hunter
Who hunts me down with his dogs?
When the greyhound catches me,
Hunter, have you caught me?
When I think of my fate,
My heart hurts right away!

Poor little rabbit, you are so pale!
Don't go into the peasant's grass,
Don't go into the peasant' s cabbages
Or else you'll pay for it with your skin,
You can spare yourself much misery and pain,
You can be a happy rabbit!

(From a blog called

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Girl Supplies for Boys

My office mate Light Bright told me a really funny story today: last night she asked her hubby to get her some girl supplies. You know what I mean, ladies. We need them for one week a month and they often come with an applicator. He came back from the store with what she said was the coolest box of girl supplies ever: it was black with neon stripes all over it, and nothing indicating that it was girl supplies. Her usual brand comes in a blue box with a big picture of the supply right on the front. She said this other brand must be targeted at men who have to buy them for wives and girlfriends, so they don’t have to look like they are carrying a box of girl supplies around. I thought that was rather ingenious of the girl supply makers, to think of something like that: girl supplies marketed for boys.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Done Wrong Again

Sorry for the silence yesterday. I thought I had a cold that, on further reflection, might just be allergies. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. It did feel good to stay in bed, whatever my problem was.

Peace cannot be maintained in my house for very long, it seems. No sooner had I gotten back in the rabbits’ good graces by bringing Plant World back inside than something set them off and they have been thumping at me nonstop. Especially Charlie, which is surprising since he is usually much easier-going than Cashmere. Sometimes I am glad the furry little terrors can’t talk, but right now I’d be interested in knowing what exactly I did wrong this time. Feel free to speculate on what I did wrong in the comments.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Rosary Energy

The following is a true story: Luxuli, OK Cap, and I took a stroll in a public garden and sat on a bench tucked away in a corner to pray the rosary. We didn’t want to be in your face about it or anything, but it was such a lovely place to pray. Most people ignored us, since we were praying very quietly, but a couple of older women sat down on a bench near ours and loudly began discussing religious matters. I was trying not to pay too much attention, but I did hear them discuss being more “spiritual than religious,” and something about the Christian Right. I wasn’t sure if this was a coincidence or if they had decided to comment on our praying in public, but we just continued to pray until finishing the rosary. At that point one woman said to the other, “Let’s go – the energy has changed.” I’m not sure if she meant there was a positive energy coming from us as we prayed, or if she just figured we would now focus on their possibly unfriendly conversation rather than our prayers, but they got up and left quickly. Strange…

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Plant World Relocation Tantrums

It has been so warm out that I moved Plant World outside. I can’t remember ever doing that in March before! We’ll see how long they can stay out there… The rabbits were not happy to see the plants go, and Cashmere expressed her displeasure by running over my foot while I was looking the other direction. In retaliation, I tried to make her cuddle with me, but she was having none of that. She does make the funniest noises when trying to get away from me, sort of between a squeal and a groan. Charlie just hopped around sadly looking for the plants, although he did thump his foot at me a couple of times just in case I missed the point. We go through this every spring when I move the plants outside, and I don’t know how to make it less traumatizing for the rabbits or, frankly, why they care so much. They don’t overreact when I move the plants back in during the fall. Maybe they love having the plants around – I know Cashmere would love to eat them, despite the fact that she turns up her nose at any fresh produce I offer her other than bananas. She has succeeded on a couple of occasions, but so far she and the plants have survived. She must realize she can’t get at them out on the balcony. And maybe Charlie is just unhappy when Cashmere is unhappy.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Fail

At work we have fails going on all the time. Here is this month’s fail: someone left a FedEx package to be picked up that does not have an address label. There is a note on it stating that it needs a label. I thought the FedEx guy wrote the note, but my office mate Light Bright thought it would be much funnier if one of the faculty had written the note. That would be just like them, expecting us peons to know where they wanted to send it and what funding to use. Maybe they hoped we would pay for it ourselves. Isn’t that part of our job as peons, “5% other duties as assigned”? Certainly mindreading seems to be part of that 5%, so maybe Light Bright is right and a faculty member did write the "needs a label" note.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Treetop Pundits

Maybe it is the beautiful weather, but as Toque McToque and I pondered business opportunities yesterday, she suggested a business located in a tree fort, and that struck me as a really good idea. We were going to have a bumper sticker factory in our tree fort, so that we could make bumper stickers of all our witty sayings, such as the following:

The economy is so bad, even the pot farmers have taken a hit.

Even a ten-watt bulb gives off some light.

Kids these days. Don’t know how to turn on a typewriter, but can program the space shuttle.

Hindsight about X tells us Y, so foresight about X prime should tell us Y prime.

But then Toque had a better idea: since we are always thinking of studies to do, we should have a tree fort think tank. I said that was genius – we could be treetop pundits! So now we just have to locate a suitable tree for our think tank.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jolly Bob: Plant on Wheels

This happened exactly a week ago, but I never blogged about it and have no better ideas for blogging today, so here goes: two weekends ago I noticed that the new growth on my big dracaena Jolly Bob was yellowish with brown spots, so I pointed it out to Richard Bonomo and Kathbert and expressed my concern. Kathbert said Jolly Bob was in much too small a pot; it has grown substantially since I found it sitting on the sidewalk on the way back from the restaurant it is named after several years ago. So last week after Date Night with Jesus, I went to the plant store near Rich’s house, but they had just closed… so I went to Walgreen’s, since they have everything, and sure enough, they had potting soil. They only had small bags, so I had to buy three. I had brought a very large pot from home, as well as a water catcher that has wheels so now Jolly Bob can be rolled around. (Hardingfele found the water catcher by the side of the road and told me about it.) This is not just for fun, but for practical considerations, since Jolly Bob is getting very heavy to have to lift if it needs to be moved. It already looks much happier since moving into its roomier, more mobile new home.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Tropical St. Patrick's Day

People have already been asking me to blog about my St. Patrick’s Day, and I am happy to oblige. It was the most beautiful St. Patrick’s Day weather I can ever remember. Technically still winter, but pushing 80? I’ll take it! Tiffy, Jilly Moose, and I went up to the parade around the Square, grabbing lunch first at an Irish pub. It was packed, and they told us it would be a 45-minute wait, then a second later they said a 20-minute wait, then two seconds later they said they would seat us immediately. I had a yummy, if not particularly Irish, salad with roasted beets, red grapes, goat cheese, pistachio dressing, and grilled salad. This year I did not bring my camera to the parade, since my short movie from last year was pretty comprehensive. There were no motorized unicycles or guys in giant hamster wheels this year, but there were llamas and Bolivian folk dancers. The crowd seemed more subdued and didn’t go into beading frenzies. Even the protest band seemed more subdued this year. Then Tiffy and I went to the Arboretum to check out the skunk cabbages with Kathbert, Katzooks, and Richard Bonomo. Pew! They were very aromatic and already growing leaves because of the warm weather. In the evening Jilly Moose had a St. Patrick’s Day party, and Anna Banana II made an incredible chocolate Guinness cake. We sat out on the porch and ended up around a bonfire, which is not the usual way I have spent St. Patrick’s Day. This beautiful weather so early is a little spooky, but I am enjoying it!

And by the way, Happy St. Joseph's Day! Did you remember to wear red?

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Rejection Leads to Alcohol Consumption (in Flies)

Today I have some exciting news for my 5.6 faithful readers: scientists have shown that sexual rejection leads to drinking alcohol! They studied fruit flies (read the article here), but we can only assume a similar mechanism is at work in humans. The interesting thing is that flies that got to mate had little interest in booze. Does this mean sex prevents alcoholism? And can Toque McToque and I get a lucrative grant to study this?

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eau de Pope

Hardingfele sent me an article which can be read in its entirety here. The gist of it is that the current Pope, who is a very dapper guy, has requested that Italian celebrity perfume maker Silvana Casoli create a cologne just for him. As noted in the article, the Pope was once Archbishop of Cologne. Can this be a coincidence? Ms. Casoli says she was inspired by the Pope’s love of nature, but otherwise she will divulge nothing about the scent, nor will she ever share it with anyone else.  The only way you will ever be able to smell it is to have a private audience with Benedict XVI, so good luck with that.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Funny English: Not Just for Spam Anymore

Today Toque McToque received the following email:

Thank you very much for your prompt replay. Your information will enable us to come back to the case and take the decision for recognition for the mention case.

Many regards,
Foreign-sounding name

This was not a piece of spam but a legitimate thank you from someone who clearly is not on a first-name basis with the English language. Toque’s job is to “replay” to inquiries for information. My job, as a blogger, is to share this with you.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday the Thirteenth

I used to work with a guy from Costa Rica who said that there they consider Tuesday the Thirteenth an unlucky day, as opposed to Friday the Thirteenth. This does seem to be true for me today, since I had three episodes of bad luck:

1. My appraisal came in lower than I had hoped, meaning if I want to refinance my condo, I will have to get creative.

2. The contact from a job I had applied for sent me an email regarding an interview, then she sent another email saying disregard, it was for someone else. She wasn’t even very apologetic!

3. Despite everything I have tried, my triglycerides are still high. However, they are only a little bit high so maybe what I am doing (exercise, fish oil) is working. Still, when my office mate Light Bright went to get ice cream, I declined, and not only because it is Lent.

Do you have any bad luck Tuesday the Thirteenth stories? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Hedgehog Funeral

Yesterday was beautiful, and I had hoped to bike, but my bike needed more than a simple fill-up of the tires so it will have to wait. I did go on a rosary walk with Jilly Moose and OK Cap, and then Rich, Kathbert, and I buried the mortal remains of my hedgehog Sylvia. She had been sitting in the freezer all this time and was perfectly preserved. Rich dug an exactly Sylvia-sized hole with his post hole digger, right under the rosebush in his garden, and then I put her in the hole to rest for eternity. She was perhaps not the most wonderful pet ever, but I wanted her to have a somewhat dignified burial. We didn’t know of any prayers to say over the grave of a hedgehog so we just hoped maybe she was in hedgehog heaven. Rich said maybe when my time comes, she will pop up to greet me. Of course, she never really popped up to greet me in life. Mostly she hissed at me. Rest in peace, Sylvia – I’ll never hear you hiss again in this life.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Promised Photos

Here are some photos I promised to post. First, the poinsettia that bloomed again:

Next is the Cactus Menace:

Doesn't it look like some kind of giant, evil insect? I went to the Arboretum with Richard Bonomo today, and we saw lots of skunk cabbages, but they were too far away to photograph well. (Trust me, I tried.) I also looked in the garden, but there is still nothing coming up but the poppy.

Here are some older photos that I just downloaded off my camera, of my various cacti in bloom:

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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Appraiser's Visit

Yesterday the appraiser came and looked at my condo to decide what it is worth. I have spent the past week cleaning the place up, and it’s a good thing too, because he took lots of pictures. And who needs a mess memorialized forever in digital format? The appraiser looked about twelve, which made me realize I must be very old if people with professional jobs can look like kids to me. He also wanted to see my parking space, and he took a picture of that too, which made me wish I had gone to the car wash. Meanwhile my rabbits were huddled in their cage – it has been so long since I locked them into it that they were very easy to trick. They wanted to come out and promised they would not make a mess, the perfidious little balls of fur. I said sorry, not until Mr. Man is done taking pictures of the place, but I am a woman of my word, so as soon as he was gone, I opened the cage door. They were so shocked that they just sat there for a moment, staring at the wide open door. I don’t know if they were more shocked that I dared to lock them up in the first place or that I actually was going to let them back out. I am happy to report that they did come back out of the cage and don’t seem to have taken any revenge on me… yet. Or at least I haven’t found whatever they might have shredded.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Cactus Menace

Last night, after all that cleaning to get my house ready for the assessor, I was watering my plants and my big orchid cactus launched itself off of the top tier of the plant stand. This plant had tons of tall shoots coming out of it like antennae. So then not only did this mean I had to vacuum my carpet again, but all the tall new shoots on the cactus got bent over, so when I placed it back on the stand, it looked very menacing, like it was coming to get you. This is not the look I had hoped for during my assessment: the cactus menace. When I told my office mate Light Bright the story, she said, “You have to blog about that!” so I am. I will take a picture and post it soon, I promise.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Is in the Air

Today is so warm that much of the snow we got on Sunday has melted. I went out to look at the garden, and to my surprise the poppy is coming back already. This seems too early - could a cold snap finish it off? - but it is hardy to Zone 3, and we are in Zone 5, so I am hopeful it will be fine. More than fine, actually. Maybe this year it will bloom. Last year I planted it, and it seemed to die, but right at the end of the summer it was coming back. Since it blooms in June, that was too late for it to produce any flowers, but I am hoping it just needed a year to adjust to its new home, and this year it will be covered in scarlet blossoms. It already looks as if it has sent up a second leaf whorl, so maybe there will be two poppy plants this year. (Someone told me they spread like weeds - maybe that's true! Maybe in a couple of years I'll be asking who among my readers would like some poppy plants.) The poppy's story mirrors the whole charm of spring, of new hope after the death of winter. No coincidence that Christ's Passion happened in the spring. Like the poppy, He seemed to be dead to the world, but He came back stronger than ever, spreading His message everywhere. If poppies just bloomed a little closer to Easter, maybe they would have been associated with the holiday, since they make such a good symbol.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Sorry for the long silence. I took some time off of work to clean my house in preparation for an assessment, and so I was no where near a computer. It was kind of nice taking a break from computers. I am still off of work but just finished doing my taxes on Rich's computer Aquinas, so I am writing a brief note mostly to explain why I have not been writing. The assessment is Thursday - hopefully it goes well so I can refinance my condo! Cleaning has been very cathartic, and of course everything looks so good afterwards. Sorry this is kind of a boring blog post, but I just wanted to let everyone know I am still alive and well.

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