Monday, June 30, 2003

Hm. Last night I started watching the Caesar miniseries on TNT. During commercials I flip around, and last night I came upon a documentary from what looked to be the 60s or 70s, about these pandas in China. I tuned in just in time to see "Lulu" come into heat and attempt (unsuccessfully) to mate. No wonder the damn things are endangered, the female is only in heat for freaking 1 to 3 days a year and the pandas can't figure out how to copulate. "If the male panda doesn't mate with Lulu soon, it'll be too late, she'll only be ovulating a couple more hours this year." Wtf??

Other evidence of nature's failings: Pomeranian chickens. Yes, they look and feel just like little furry dogs. But they cluck. Mer's taking care of a couple of these examples of a doomed species at her housesitting job, the former King Charles Cavalier Spaniel breeder's place. Beautiful huge gardens with roses. But these chickens are really a freak show. There's a weird top knotted rooster that has the most annoying crow, along with these Pomeranian Chickens. The PCs have fur on their feet. We saw them try to, uh, reproduce, too. I was just asking Merrie how chickens actually reproduce, and it's not like fish with the egg laying and then the sperm spraying on the eggs. Oh no, chickens do it. And it looks ridiculous, especially because of the toy dog connection.

There is also a turkey, which clacks incessantly until you think you're going batty. If you clack back, it switches to a high pitched barking, and if you imitate THAT, the turkey just tries to drown you out. I think I finally scared it off though when I screamed "Don't f--- with me, turkey!" I hope that thing ends up on a basting pan come that Thursday in Nov.

Tomorrow I clean this house, and get ready to move in with Mer... she's a little lonely I think. But a cat there had kittens so she's happy. They're two weeks old and still crawling around. For some reason I thought they'd be bigger and more mobile.

Well I'm off to finish watching this show, the only way I learn about ancient history seems to be from tv.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

And further adventures in the life.... Yesterday Mom sent Mer back here with all sorts of food for us, garden lettuce and salad makings, chicken, corn, fruit, etc. I planned on cooking later, Mer was outside, I was inside looking for Super Mario World Switch Palaces, when the background hum of the house went dead. First thing I noticed was the tv and the clock on top were out, so I was looking for switches and the power strip behind the entertainment stand... couldn't figure that out. Realized all the other electrical appliances were off (except my computer, since it was on batteries, very confusing if you assume because that's on the electricity is working). Mer and I assumed it was a circuit problem, and since the Fosters mentioned that all that stuff was in the barn we went over and flipped circuit breakers or something, couldn't make anything work though. Phone was out too, naturally. So we decided to drive over to see if Mom knew how to fix it. Got over there, found out the power was out there, too. Sat and talked awhile, Tim threw around paranoid suggestions of dams being bombed by terrorists, etc., to cause the power outage.

But, nothing so dire actually happened. The power came back after an hour, and me and Mer were on our happy way again. I made a pasta based sorta deal for dinner, with chicken and tomoatoes and broccali sauteed over it with olive oil. No wine sauces, however, as there was only dessert sherry in the cupboards. I needed something more explicit, like, "cooking wine" to feel safe using it in anything. That'll have to come later when I'm, er, 21.

Mom joined us for a lunch of what she likes to refer to as Fresh Fruit Frenzy. Basically sherbet with fruit. Anyhow, we had all sorts of difficulties with Snooks, as Pepper the dog took an instant disliking to the shaking and neurotic cocker spaniel. I bodily dragged the cocker out of the house. Mom walked around to admire the gardens and the "layer hens." Upon coming back in, the sherbet from the FFFs was still sitting and melting on the counter.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Hm.............. Last night Mer & I were bored... so at about 15 to midnight we decided to go back to our house, get a stereo, popcorn, and hair dryer, to bring back here to the house we're sitting. The dogs miraculously didn't bark, and we snuck in and out without waking anyone (presumably). Mer tried to wake up Mom and failed, so she just sneaked into their room and stole the hair dryer. Thinking it would have been funny if we also stole Snooks, Tim's cocker spaniel. But we restrained ourselves and just made off with the planned things. Got back here and I wanted popcorn, but we couldn't find a lid to the pan. I tried putting a metal collander (sp?) over it, space helmet style, but kernels were still escaping. Tried a smaller lid, also unsuccessfully. Mer got a lot of uhm, weird pictures.

This morning we got up early with a call from "Carol" & then stayed up because of a dead chick. Dead either from heat exhaustion or maybe choking on food... Although it was cool out this morning and they had water. Mystery. We buried it on the edge of an unplanted part of the garden, put some weeds on it. "Rest in peace chicken." We have now put in a, er, bird bath for them but they aren't smart enough to get into the water and splash around.

Farm dramas! D. Becky and I have worked out a system to raise chickens and ride horses.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Upon finishing the book... Not sure what to do, past what, 6 weeks? have been haunted with "must finish, must try to comprehend..." and now it's over and I'm feeling like Slothrop slowly faded into some sort of widely dispersed aura, and Jessica and Mexico just broke it off and Enzian never met Tchitcherine as his brother and I didn't get to know if the I guess it was the 00001 rocket was successfully assembled and blasted, and it's the sort of thing one could read every 5 years and still never understand everything. Chilly ending, I guess maybe that would explain the earlier confusion over the lines of communication and other things I didn't understand in the 00000 rocket.

I wonder if reading everything (anything besides this) else is going to seem much easier suddenly.

And another Fritz Lang appearance toward the end...

I wish I knew at least a little German...
Mom woke me up today when she called, which was good, because I stayed up. Managed to talk to Henry, do all the morning chores, change sprinklers, and fix lunch for everyone. Mom stopped by to have lunch with us, then went off for cleaning & etc. As Henry was busy with Jules, me and Mer went to Laurance Lake to cool off... It was about 95 I think today in the shade of the porch. The lake was "busy" -- as in, there were other people visible. We floated around but the wind kept coming up and pushing us north. And funny thing how you're hot enough to jump into a pool of ice water when you're at home, and then suddenly you're perfectly cool just with your feet in the water once you arrive at your destination. Mer and I gave up on actually swimming without the floaties.

The chicks were hot again. It's kind of disturbing really to watch them. They all plop down and pant, and about every two minutes one of them poos, which you know, you can hear... I don't know if I could handle raising chickens.

The hummingbirds face off at the feeders on the porch. One bossy hummingbird will have established his perch at one feeder, and if another bird comes he'll hover on over and they'll stand off like cowboys in westerns. The newcomer inevitably backs down first, and sometimes they seem to do a little air gymnastic circle around each other before flying off. Each feeder has three perches, hypothetically seating 6 hummingbirds total. But I doubt two hummingbirds can eat in those close quarters without feeling the need to chase each other.

Merrie and I have agreed to spend as much time as possible out of the house.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Just read all the Pine plans!

To Mary: I agree with you completely on your movie review! I think the best part of the Matrix Reloaded was the Keymaker. A great action movie but a horrible dialogue movie; keep the fight scenes, lay off the "philosophy." I wish the South Hadley theater had more room so we could have seen it the night it came out! I must do that with the new Last Unicorn... I wonder if they'll have it?

To D. Becky!!!: I'm fine here, how're you? =) Henry hasn't been filling me in on, well, anything, but as to the continued back pain I say sue the damn transit system for what looks like a permanent injury. Damn manure truck drivers. When do you move back in to MHC? I think I have to be there on Aug. 24th, so I'll probably be there when you arrive! Are you still melting in the heat? I think we should find a nice ice cave somewhere for you to hibernate in during the summers =)
Busily house-sitting at the Fosters: watering berry bushes, corn, flowers, chicks (as in baby chickens), etc; collecting eggs and cooking... you get the idea. Yesterday I decided I was tired of being as white as an albino fish's belly, so I sat out in the sun awhile. Somehow, in probably just the evening sun, I pinked my thighs and upper back. Doomed to either a ghostliness or an unhealthy cooked lobster color. I think a $30 a week trip to the salon for bottled tan isn't, well, worth it. Plus, who would see me? The chickens don't care. Oh, the chicks were panting today, that was strange. All of them. Huffing all on different in-out timers. We turned off the heat lamp, as it was kind of ridiculous to have a heat lamp on in 95 degree weather for chicks in a greenhouse.

I helped Mer water at the Jacksons' house today, too... The place definitely looks like what I'd expect Mrs. Jackson to live in, very pretty and cheerful. (She was my junior year English teacher, Mer's French teacher).

Soon to start a new book I think, which will I hope go much much faster. I won't have to read every other sentence two or three times, or worry as much about whether or not I'm "getting" things.

For Kathleen: Of all the candy at McIsaac's store, I picked flavored tootsie rolls =) But only because they were on sale!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Rode a bike today for the first time in, well, years. That should be good for me, my legs are prone to being out of proportion. Mom and Tim were running about to make the damn thing ride-able. The tires were flat and the seat needed to be let down (not a tall girl here). Helped Mom make dinner, as I apparently am expected to know how to cook by the time I hit the ages I already hit. No pasta in wine sauces yet from this girl. Tim's more the uh, meat and potatoes sort without the potatoes, if you know what I mean. Basically, we eat a lot of meat in this house. Not very Hobokenite-like (did I say that right?) So I'm, er, accustomed to, uh, "roast beast" in big pots and you know, bear sausage and such Oregonian fare. And yes, we are now eating bear sausage. Killed in Canada and made into sausage right here in the valley, quite the culinary feat. Yes, we live by cows that we later eat when the neighbors slaughter them. Merrie skins raccoons and muskrats and collects antlers of any deer you never heard of.

Off of that tangent now, I think I'm going to sleep. Stopped reading tonight after the intro. to the rocket-capital. I think I was supposed to have read The Scarlet Letter by like the 25th, umm... the day after tomorrow? Oopsy- -

Oh. Tim and Mom came home today with a new idea: let's have the girls buy a house! Yes folks, a house, with landlords ("landladies" makes us sound like we're 70 and don't speak much English) of 20 & 17 years of age. And although they have a point, we must be realistic. What dope would give us a loan big enough to cover a house? Oh well, just another interesting scheme to "get us started out right." No one seems too excited about my "I hope to find a grad school that will take me so I can continue in English and not teach 1st graders how to read" pleas, no, but they do get excited over possible careers as a psychiatrist, landlord of half the valley, or real estate agent. I've about given up.

Oh! Speaking of teaching first graders (haha, sorry Mer), I was helping Merrie with her math program today. She misplaced the Algebra 1 cd so we plunged into Algebra 2 and quickly lost both of us. I never learned rules for radicals so we had to uhm, skip those. Factoring is still ingrained, though. Interesting future study for math majors: what mathematical skills do we lose first...

Ok promise I'll stop now (I just started the fourth "paragraph" starting in O's). If anyone actually reads this, feel free to skip these sorts of entries esp. And I'm not spell checking this so lovers of proper spelling may now commence the "and she's an ENGLISH major?!" cracks. Hm. Which even Mer occassionally likes to make. Ahh that's another story, later.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Hm. Main event of the day was going to the Fosters' to get some house sitting instructions. I think it'll be pretty cool-- a nice garden to take care of, chickens, a dog, and a cat. Plus I hadn't seen Shannon in tons of time and she's heading out to Montana and won't be back till long after I've gone back to MHC. Chatted awhile about animals & college & whatnot. Shannon and I met when we were four. We rollerskated at the elementary school and she was my first non-obligatory friend (as in, we weren't babysat together or thrown together by our parents' friendship). I start housesitting on Tuesday, and they'll be back on the 2nd or 3rd of July.

My other accomplishment of the day involves our own garden. Mom planted "ever-bearing strawberries" in the garden, in these fruit bins (for non-orchard people, wooden boxes, about 3 x 3 foot square with a depth of maybe 2 feet or so). Well, when I first arrived home they were great, you'd go out every day and find enough to fill a cereal bowl with. Lately, not so hot. About two weeks ago I decided it must be slugs and potato bugs that had commenced a strawberry destruction binge. I killed a number of potato bugs and slugs before realizing that 1. potato bugs are not big eaters of strawberries, 2. the slugs I was finding were pretty small and not capable of consuming large amounts of berries, and 3. something bigger was definitely the culprit. Oh, and I may have just made things worse by smearing slug guts around the bins (my thought process was that the slugs would see, oh, there's my dead mate! perhaps something nearby is killing slugs. I, as a slug, should scram to avoid being killed. According to Merrie's handbook on slugs, not so. In fact, slugs are ATTRACTED to their dead companions. So, shows you what I know about the average slug psyche).

Also according to Mer's handbook, I made some "slug traps" out of cool whip containers and water bottles. Strategy on this one: drown them in beer. However, no slugs seem to have drowned in the beer besides the ones that I threw in there myself. Perhaps any writer of a slug handbook is too attracted to slugs to actually steer readers toward effective killing methods? I don't know.

Due to the lack of slug carcasses and the continuing decimation of the strawberries, we thought that maybe birds were eating them. Next plan took longer to put into action. But, today Mom and Tim supplied netting to cover the strawberries with. I made a nice little covering over both bins, and I felt pretty handy pounding nails and measuring out netting. Maybe I will grow more than just weeds in my future garden.

Less than 150 pages to go now, and the Dickenesque loose threads seem to come together a little more... well, some of them at least.

Supposed to rain tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Just had to update, as I found another thing I can actually verify as to its reality:

"Klein-Rogge was carrying nubile actresses off to rooftops when King Kong was still on the tit with no motor skills to speak of. Well, one nubile actress anyways, Brigitte Helm in Metropolis. Great movie. Exactly the world Pokler and evidently quite a few others were dreaming about those days, a Corporate City-state where technology was the source of power, the engineer worked closely with the administrator, the masses labored unseen far underground, and ultimate power lay with a single leader at the top, fatherly and benevolent and just, who wore magnificent looking suits and whose name Pokler couldn't remember, being too taken with Klein-Rogge playing the mad inventor that Pokler and his codisciples under Jamf longed to be -- indispensable to those who ran the Metropolis, yet, at the end, the untamable lion who could let it all crash, girl, State, masses, himself, asserting his reality against them all in one last roaring plunge from rooftop to street..." (From Pynchon's GR, 673 in the Bantam ed.)

Hm. Except if Pokler watched that, he must have just ignored the whole part with Brigitte, the "heart" between the brains and hands. Too busy fantasizing about her getting "carried off"?

It rained today, right after I hung my laundry outside to dry. Merrie let the raccoon go in the backyard. It didn't seem to be in any great hurry to scuttle off.
"To begin my blog with the beginning of my blog"? I'm tired of using telnet to keep in touch, so I'm selling out and using blogspot. I told myself I wasn't going to do this, but, here I am. I just can't handle that I have to manually move the little cursor if I want to edit something in telnet, and then all the spacing is screwed beyond my patience. Well, I don't want to actually start at the beginning of my life on this thing, so here's today, or, well, yesterday according to my computer:

Got up kinda late. That's normal though. Helped Mom clean, also normal. Read some, ate some, watched the "top songs of the last 25 years" on VH1, didn't agree with them. I thought Van Halen's "Jump" was often voted onto people's top "NEVER LISTEN TO THIS SONG" lists, yet it was in the top 20 on VH1. Someone's taking bribes, because "Jump" is not better than "Crash" or "With or Without You."

Discovered a whole site dedicated to Pynchon today. Alphabetical lists to explain allusions to, er, everything. They even covered that Potempkin fellow, one of the few allusions I "got" because I had this book, Strange but True, that I often wasn't quite convinced told me the truth, that explained, in kiddy-watered-down-language, how this Potempkin fooled his supposed lover (oh, but not using that word of course) with a bunch of sand palaces and hired dancers into thinking he improved some land. Seemed like a lot of trouble for one little trip. Probably could have put the same amount of effort and money into actually improving the place. Any-who, someday I'll finish this book. I'm up to like the 600s in page numbers, but that doesn't make you feel that much better when you still have about 250 to go. I don't even know how to read this, let alone write something like it.

In further news, Barnes and Noble actually trusted me with a credit card, line of credit $1,000. Ha! It's 0% APR till next year, and all that fun stuff, supposedly no annual fees, etc. I canceled the last one after being told there were no annual fees, just a member fee that, well, gee, occurred annually! In becky-speak, that means "annual fee," but you know how you need a glossary just to read those credit card agreements? I guess that's what they were hiding behind, very carefully constructed definitions. So I'm hoping that Barnes and Noble, as a bookseller, as a distributor of dictionaries even (for heaven's sake), will not allow their name to be put on a credit card which encourages the systematic misuse of words.

There's a raccoon outside, waiting to be relocated. It huffed at me. Oh the things you'll see! in our backyard. It's kinda late now, and I'm feeling kinda guilty that I am somehow unable to finish this book in a timely manner. Definitely a "pre-reading." Maybe in a decade I'll understand it better?

Signing off for now, cute little blogspot website,