Earth and Sky

Today we celebrated Earth Day by doing lawn maintenance. This may not seem like much, and you could, I suppose, call us dandelion murderers, but Fuzzy mowed and edged both lawns, and pulled the dandelions from the area around the monstrous play structure we never use and have never bothered to remove or replace.

Truly, he did a lot, especially for a computer geek who generally only glimpses the sky through cracks in the miniblinds, or car windshields.

As for me, I had the easier, if more hunched over, job of weeding the front flower box, pruning the rosebushes, and cutting back the calla lilies and bloomed out bulbs. I’m all itchy but I haven’t been outside enough, and this was good for me, and the garden. I saw some lady bugs, which made me smile, and some termites, which did NOT.

It was a lovely day, and I was sorely tempted to jump in the pool, but it wasn’t quite warm enough for that. Or rather, it was, but there haven’t been enough consecutive days with a warm enough temperature to make the pool water warm enough for swimming, though sitting on the edge with my feet in the water was great.

So, we’re both in our offices for the evening, puttering, and pausing now and then for smoochy breaks. And I’ve just turned on the two thirds of the front sprinklers (there isn’t enough water pressure to do all three sections at once), and in four minutes, I’ll go turn them off, and turn the others on. Meanwhile, it’s just breezy enough that the water is blowing across the lawn, and if I turn my head toward the window the cool water mists toward me, and smells like summer rain.

Unconscious Mutterings

Week of 18 April 2004

  1. Virginia:: Ginny
  2. Soft:: as feathers, sharp as thumbtacks…
  3. Carol:: Channing
  4. Vanity:: Fair
  5. Feminist:: Mystique
  6. Alias:: Spy
  7. Coward:: Noel
  8. Beer:: Lime
  9. Chance:: Monopoly
  10. Honest:: sincere

The Consensus…

…is that with the market the way it is, we should list the house asap, planning on an open house by Memorial Day, and negotiate a 30-day rentback, find a temp apt in Colorado, then get settled there and search for the perfect new house.

The daring part of me, who already has ppl sharing their rolodex and palm files with her, likes this plan A LOT (esp. since she’s being told that the house comps out at $545 – 575k and that she could probably get over 600k if she staged it right).

The conservative part of me is less sure, but still excited.

SEEKING: Friends to spend a weekend or two between now and Memorial Day helping us paint, spackle, repair, and hold a garage sale. Food will be provided. Swimming pool is open. Gratitude is already included.


I am a cheap drunk.
No, I don’t mean I’m a lush. I mean that one beer, on an empty stomach, and served with a slice or two of carb-laden pizza, effectively knocks me out. There is no giddyness, no sloshiness, just a soft descent into sleep.

This is what happened earlier tonight, almost. I fought the sleep, went online, looked at house plans, surfed monster, did research on licensing in Colorado (for my present job, actually), and moved on from there to convincing Fuzzy it was bedtime at 12:47, when we rarely, if ever, turn out the lights before two. Or three.

At 3:30, he got up because Cleo was sitting on the top of the bed, nudging us. Apparently this is her new signal for “Let me out; I have to pee.” Zorro’s signal, much harder to miss, involves sitting on one of our chests and licking our noses, then jumping to the floor, catlike, and scratching at the door. We have no trouble interpreting this, but Cleo can be a bit less obvious (see above).

When she came back, Fuzzy decided HE had to make a pitstop as well. Fortunately, he is an adult human, capable of letting himself out of the bathroom. I sighed, and rolled over, tried to go back to sleep.

It didn’t work. I just kept thinking silly things that wouldn’t go away:
My shoulders hurt. Zorro, stop licking my foot. Now. Stop it now. Thank you. No, don’t sleep on my shoulder – it hurts. Silly dog. It’s hot in here. How can it be hot in here when I’m cold. Am I cold? No. I’m just awake. Sleep. 1-2-3 Sleep. Do I have to pee?

I did, in fact, get up to answer Nature’s call, pausing to rub some mentholated cream on my very achy shoulders. Lovely stuff: it relaxes the muscles and clears the sinus passages, too.

I returned to bed, tried to get comfortable, cuddled up to Fuzzy. And found I was wide awake.

So, here I sit, a bit over an hour later. I began this entry at 4:50 AM. The dogs, who follow ME more than Fuzzy, are snoring in chorus. Zorro is on the blue chair. Cleo is on a pillow on the floor. And I am getting drowsy again.

I’m so glad it’s Friday.

5:00 AM.
Back to bed.

T3: A Geek in the Family

::A geek in the family::

A geek– Hey, who handles tech support at your place? You? …the six year old? …or someone from outside? …and how about in your web space? No, we’re not looking for techs; we’re just curious .

At work, I do most of the techy stuff, though lately that’s been very little. If there’s something I can’t reach, I get someone else to do it, but when it comes to configuring systems, it’s generally me.

At home, I maintain my own machines, but I pawn off whatever tasks I can, on Fuzzy, because he’s faster at some things, than I am, and because he’s less of a klutz with tools and small screws and things. Also, I tend to lack patience.

in the– computer? Just a curiosity for the designer types: what Operating System are you running? …and which browser? Since sites can show up differently in different browsers it’s more than a casual question.

Win XP Pro, which I’ve had NO PROBLEMS with (knock on wood veneer), and while I like the new flavor of Mozilla, so much of what I do at work is tied to IE, that I’m stuck with it. I use IE for blogging, mainly, because the buttons for bold, italics, and stuff, don’t show up for me in Mozilla, not that I need them, but I get lazy…but I switch browsers to import and export.

Family– Do any family members read your place? Do they care? Do they have a clue? …and how about your ‘off line’ friends? …or do you supply a little bit of separation there?

If there’s something I want someone to see, I send a link or copy the text into email, mainly. Fuzzy only reads me through the LJ RSS feed – hmph! If I want to post something private, I use LJ or OD, which have settings for such things.


My rosebush is blooming in a riot of bright pink blossoms.
I hate pink.
And I’m not a particular fan of roses, either.
But my grandmother loved them, and it seems wrong to remove a plant from my garden just because it isn’t my favorite.
So, I leave it there, fertilized with the co-mingled ashes of my grandparents, and a healthy dash of familial love.
And I watch it bloom.
And I think of how my grandmother used to steal cuttings of other people’s bushes.
And I miss her less.


This is a recurring theme with me. I love RAIN. Nothing inspires me, invigorates me, so much as a good soaking rainfall, such as the one I was watching just a few minutes ago. Earlier this morning, I’d seen blue skies, and while other people might have smiled at them, I was disappointed, because if there was ever a week when I truly needed a cozy stay-home-and-nest rainy weekend, this is it.

It’s not so much that anything bad happened, as it’s been a very long, very stressful week, and I’m feeling prickly and tired.

I was happily puttering away at my computer, browsing websites devoted to Great White Sharks because I’m currently reading Twelve Days of Terror by Richard G. Fernicola, M.D. It’s a more scientific look at the series of shark attacks down the New Jersey shore in July, 1916. The same string of attacks I read about last year in the book Close to Shore, which was more about the culture and history than the actual attacks, and felt more like a novel than a historical account. (These are the same attacks that helped inspire Peter Benchley to write Jaws, also.)

I grew up swimming in the water at the beaches mentioned in these books, and in a way, reading about them is like visiting home, seeing pictures of those stately old houses on the sand, seeing the sea of umbrellas below the boardwalk…I can almost smell the hotdogs and cotton candy.

But I digress.

I was reading a website, when I heard Cleo barking, and it took me a few minutes to realize this was REAL barking, not “another dog barked a mile away” barking. So I went to investigate, and found a tremulous poolboy with a large net. The kind of net I associate with fishing boats, and not swimming pools.

I called Cleo inside, and apologized to the pool guy, making a mental note that while an old white t-shirt with no bra under it is FINE for puttering at one’s computer, it’s really not what one should wear while conversing with the pool cleaner. Also, I promised to leave the door closed on Mondays from now on, as Monday is now Pool Cleaning Day. (This works for me quite well.)

I went back to reading about sharks, and beaches, then got sidetracked by the special effects information from my OTHER favorite shark movie, Deep Blue Sea. (IMO, Jaws had the best lines, and was scary because it took place in familiar waters, but Deep Blue Sea was a better film. )

I was brought back into the present by the realization that the light had changed outside my windows, and I smiled, thinking that we might at least get some cloud cover. I opened the blinds further and saw that water was spattering the windows. I released Cleo from the bedroom, and went to investigate the back yard, grinning, even dancing, when I realized how steadily the rain was falling.

I love that I can sit on my back patio and watch the rain, and feel the damp air on my skin, and not get wet. I love that I can walk all the way across the patio (lengthwise) and peer around the corner, only getting wet at the very last minute, to confirm that the gate is closed. I love that Cleo takes as much pleasure in rainstorms as I do, her tail curling over her back in doggy glee, as she barks at the raindrops and plops into puddles. (Zorro hates getting his feet wet, so it was a sign that his bladder was REALLY full when he went out to pee in spite of the rain.)

I stayed out there for a good five minutes, watching the rain fall on the grass, the pavement, the roof, watching the pool water turn choppy, and wishing I still had my grandfather’s old super 8 movie camera (I have a camcorder, but it’s not the same), so I could make disaster films in the pool with model ships and the chlorine-ducky.

And now, I ‘m back inside again, and the blue sky is creeping back into view, but I don’t mind, because the rain has awakened by senses and my synapses, and that ten minute festival of precipitation has helped me to radically improve my mood.

Oh, I still want to nest, but now I’m doing it with a grin.


So, after reading everything I could find at Movable Type‘s website, and finding nothing useful, I gave up on Image::Magick which is installed on my server, but still doesn’t let me thumbnail, and resorted to NetPMB, which thumbnails beautifully, and was really easy to install, and everything.

I’m starting a photoblog. Easter egg pictures are here. Egg photos are by CLAY

Do note: it’s veryveryvery rough, and not completely set up.

A Thorough Grounding in the Classics

A book meme stolen from Branwynelf at LiveJournal

* * *

Bold titles are books I’ve read.
Italicised titles are books on my “to be read someday” list.
Titles in plain text are books I’ve not read, and have no burning desire to read (which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just that I don’t have them lurking in the back of my head).

Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Bront묠Charlotte – Jane Eyre
Bront묠Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
Dante – Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel – Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph – Catch-22
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garc�- One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan – Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire – Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – Harrison Bergeron
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard – Native Son