Sunday, June 17, 2012

Free Entertainment

Apologies, again, for not posting much as of late.  My days are full with work and medical appointments, and minor surgery is in my future.  I’m stressing out on the current batch of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and am not yet sure how many thousands more will be coming in the next batch.  The good news is that I am finally feeling better!  Chronic pain sucks….  Sure wish it would stop raining so I could work in the yard.  The plants sure are happy, though.

Anyway, I have seen some humorous things lately and thought I would share them.  One thing I enjoy doing is people-watching.  There is always something amusing going on….

The other night, we were at a bar watching a live band.  Besides being entertained by the band, we were also entertained by the crowd.  It was quickly apparent which men wanted to be on the dance floor, and which men were there because their partner would never speak to them again if they didn’t attempt to dance (or at least pretend to).  At the back of the dance floor (not far from our table) were two women dancing with each other.  Girl A and Girl B were having a very good time, dancing in their tight and unflattering dresses.  They started out dancing face-to-face, but then Girl A turned around and bent over, all while gyrating.  I astutely recognized this “rump rub” as her version of being “sexy”.  Girl A then whipped back her long hair and nailed Girl B directly in the face!  Girl B did not flinch.  I laughed so hard that I cried….

Another night, we were at an Irish-themed pub, watching (of course) an Irish musician.  Being an Irish-themed pub, it attracted a rather enthusiastic crowd of people.  That night was no exception.  Our free entertainment for the evening was provided by a guy who apparently thought he was auditioning for “Riverdance”.  His “dancing” (more like leg-flailing/jogging in place) was encouraged by his friends, who were recording his antics on their phones.  At one point, the guy even used an accessory of sorts by holding a napkin on his head.  Why do I get the feeling he will never live this down?  Folks, if you’re going to dance with a napkin on your head, do it somewhere where you don’t know anyone (like friends with cameras/phones).  Either that, or get new friends.

Last, but not least, I would like to give the “Repeatedly Stupid” award to a gal I saw at a bar recently.  She was on crutches, and her foot was in a plaster cast.  Nowadays, it is pretty rare to see casts, as it seems doctors prefer braces/boots.  A cast indicates a serious surgery, most likely involving bones.  Anyway, I can understand getting stir-crazy while recuperating from surgery and wanting to get out of the house for a bit.  However, being on crutches in a crowded bar is not a good idea.  Further, what did she wear on her good foot (her sole support)?  A flimsy sandal.  Now that is just plain stupid!  People never cease to amaze me.  Looks like money can't buy common sense:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Is Here!

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long absence.  I've been fighting a virus of some sort for two or three weeks (lost track), and it's wiping me out.  Every day after work, I'm visiting a healthcare professional.  I'm hoping to get over this crud and make progress on my chronic pain SOON!

In the meantime, I saw evidence that Spring is truly here.  Yesterday, the first baby bird of the year appeared:
She was not happy about the other bird, though.  She got scared and flew off, but I hope to see more bird babies over the course of the next month.  I love it when Mother Nature lets me witness things like this in my backyard.

I'll try to visit your blogs soon, as I miss "Blog Land"!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April GBBD - It's All About Texture

It's the 15th of the month again - time for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!  Since there aren't many blooms in my cold yard this time of year, I went on the hunt for texture.  I also tried a different camera, lens and method than usual ("usual" being point & shoot).  So, yes, this is all an experiment.  Here goes!

First up is a clematis, with a glimpse of the past....
 ....and the future.
I had to double-check to make sure this wasn't a caterpillar on the heuchera:
Looking at Forget-Me-Nots this way makes them look a tad classier than in my usual photos!
The ferns are slowly awakening from their winter slumber....
These tiny yellow flowers are on a pygmy barberry.  These plants have some sort of interest (berries, variegated leaves, blooms, etc.) pretty much year 'round.
What's this?  It's a baby poppy! A sure sign that warmer days are ahead.

Thanks for looking at the results of my experiment!  Maybe next month there will be some actual blooms. :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Lowe Blow

As some of you may know, I have a thing about spelling.  As I'm aging maturing, though, I'm finding that I still notice things that are misspelled, but I can't think of how they should be spelled.  Good thing "spell check" was invented.  Anyway, I've been seeing some humorous misspellings here and there recently.  One of these days, I will remember to take a photo of offending menus.  In the meantime, here are a couple of examples:

Example #1:  My university's alumni office emails quarterly newsletters.  The university has a fairly basic name.  Let's call it "Meeker University".  So the newsletter arrives in my inbox with the title "Meker University Alumni News".  This is a place where you can earn a graduate degree in Education!  I couldn't help but email them about this little issue....  Their immediate reply was a thankful one. :-)

Example #2:  Our town is sooooo big, we have a Lowe's less than 10 miles away.  Although many people complain about the quality level of assistance at their local hardware store, the help we've received at Lowe's has been great for the most part (especially when we has to replumb our sink).  Anyway, given the good experiences we've had there, I was surprised to see this:
It bugged me so much that I actually figured out how to use the camera in my phone, just so I could take this photo.

Sometimes I think I could start my own sign and menu editing business.  And if I was hungry and in a daring mood, I could order "Stripped Bass" from a local Japanese restaurant....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unicorns and Lecherchauns

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! This is one of those holidays that has been grossly skewed over the years. It’s the day when, suddenly, everyone is Irish: “Luck o’ the Irish”. You’d better have some green on, too: “Wearin’ o’ the Green”. If you live in a medium- or large-sized town, there may be an Irish festival, complete with music, dancing, beer, corned beef and cabbage. There may even be a 5k or 10k foot race or a parade! Above all, much of the population will use St. Patrick’s Day as yet another excuse to get drunk.

So what was St. Patrick’s Day originally? Here’s some data from and the always-accurate (ha ha!) Wikipedia:
- It is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick (who was born in Britain).
- It was originally a religious occasion.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York in 1762.
- Some cities have their own unique ways of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. For example, Chicago dyes the Chicago River temporarily green.
- St. Patrick’s Day parades aren't just held in Ireland and the UK, they are also held around the world, including the US, Canada, Australia and Japan.
- Up until the 1970’s, pubs were closed on March 17.
- The color originally associated with St. Patrick was blue.

Whether you are Irish or not, I wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of St. Patrick and my Irish roots, I will raise my glass of Guinness and sing the “Unicorn Song”. Don’t forget to put the glass on your head at the appropriate moment…. Oh, and don’t mix up your cats and rats.;-)

Here’s the sober version:

Here's a drunk version:

Ladies, if you participate in a drunk version, watch out for those lecherchauns who want to see your pot o' gold at the end of their rainbow. Oh, and if you hear even one version of "Danny Boy", run for the hills!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Garden Blogger Bud Day - March

Yes, that's right: I renamed it for the month! That's because there isn't much is the way of blooms in my yard. It was tempting to rename it "Signs of Life Month". Anyway, I won't post pictures of all the buds in my yard, just some that I like for various reasons. Here we go!

Here's what I consider to be one of the earliest and cheeriest signs of Spring (aside from daffodils): forsythia. Around here, forsythia grows vigorously in yards, natural borders and woodlands.

Here is the base of a giant gypsophilia (Crambe cordifolia). These purple buds will eventually grow into green leaves about two feet in diameter. From the center, a stalk about five feet tall laden with little blooms will arise.

Here is a peony taken from my parent's yard. I may need to see if they need any help removing more.  This will eventually have magenta blooms. I like the color and texture of the buds.

This bud probably excites me the most, because it's from my sole tree peony. It's the most expensive plant in my garden, and I'm always afraid I will lose it to a hard winter. Maybe it will finally bloom this year....

The climbing hydrangea is beginning to bud, too. I just thought the bud was a pretty shape. I love this plant. It climbs up the side of a storage area and hides our junk from the neighbors. The blooms are pretty, too.

Here is an unusual view you may not recognize. It is a sword fern. Although I do not normally cut them all the way down, I had to this year due to storm damage. The fronds look like they are all curled up in a nest.

Of note is that, as far as I can tell, I did not lose any plants to winter conditions this year! That has got to be a first. Plus, for the first time, all four clematis I planted last year made it through the winter as well. I can't tell you how many clematis plants I've lost....

Happy early Spring, everyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hugo (no spoilers)

I rarely watch movies, but DH recently brought home “Hugo”. Prior to watching it, I knew very little about it except that it had won numerous awards and had received good reviews. I figured it would be an uplifting story about a little boy. Well, I was wrong. Although the little boy (Hugo) was involved with most aspects of the story, the movie itself was not solely about him. The story was not just his that we were watching. Little did I know that the background story (which ended up becoming the foreground story) was based on someone who really existed. I had not heard of the man before, but now I know a lot about him and how he contributed to things that we see today. That said, some portions of the movie were predictable.

One of the big raves about “Hugo” was about its visual effects. The story was kind of dark, but the movie was visually dark, too. The few times Hugo goes outside, it’s usually at night. He lives in a Parisian train station (think coal-burning steam trains) and works behind the scenes (lots of industrial-type scenery). The story takes place in 1931, so it’s the era of the Great Depression, between WWI and WWII. There are also elements of orphans/orphanages and references to WWI. Much of the movie is given to a past life of success and an unfulfilled, depressing current life. I thought the movie made very effective use of lighting.

I thought the actors were good, too. The young boy who played Hugo got a lot of mileage out of his big, blue eyes. It was Ben Kingsley who I enjoyed the most, although I couldn’t help but notice a resemblance to Patrick Stewart.

All in all, I would recommend this movie.  The story is good and is well told. Besides, DH is enjoying it even more now that he’s watching it in his 3-D glasses!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Past Its Prime

This week on Written, Inc., it's "Past It's Prime" week.  Here's my submission, from Frank Lloyd Wright's "Taliesin West" in Arizona:
The architecture of Taliesin West is, of course, quirky, however the Arizona sun really bakes any paint or wood.  This photo might be good as a jigsaw puzzle!  What do you think?

Monday, February 27, 2012


This week's Thematic Photography over at Written, Inc. is "Greyish". I chose this photo not just because it's grey, but because it shows movement (the current lapping on one side of the cone), weather (the raindrops hitting the water), and proof that indeed it does rain in southern California!

Oh yeah, and I didn't take this picture - DH did. He said I could use it, though. :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Lesson in French

Last summer, DH and I spent a weekend in a small town for one of his sports meets.  It was a typical small town:  one grocery store, one gas station, a few motels, and about four bars.  While in our motel’s breakfast room, I was chatting with some of DH’s teammates.  Everyone else in the breakfast room was from the team except for one couple, who were conversing with each other in French.  As I was leaving the breakfast room, we all said the usual “Bye”, “See you at the site”, etc.  Just as I was about to go out the door, I turned around, looked at the couple, smiled and said, “Au revoir”.  The French-speaking couple looked quite shocked and said, “Au revoir!”  The looks on their faces were priceless.