Category Archives: Random

Scaranoctupus

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My summer-fruiting raspberries are now enjoying their second year in my garden, and we are enjoying them, too.

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I’ve been picking at least this many every morning. They don’t last past noon, so no chance of me having enough to cook with. We don’t care – they are too tasty to resist!

The birds can’t resist them either. The wee finches and sparrows and tits leave them alone. As do the giant crows and rooks and ravens. It’s the middle sized birds that found my bounty – starlings.

Luckily for me, the day they started to ripen I was asleep on the couch downstairs, just a few meters from the back door (sliding glass type). Spottie cat the mighty hunter saw the robbers and set up the alarum. Okay, actually? He went ‘mehmehmehmeh! ikikikikik!’ at them, and that woke me up. He did sound a bit different though, so I got up to see.

Dammit! I never thought I’d have bird troubles, and had no netting or anything else handy at 4:30 am to keep them away.

But I’m a quick thinker, and came up with a solution instantly. All I had to do was get my bare feet wet in the dew, and the problem was solved!

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Neko will just have to live without her huge octopus until the growing season is over.

Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

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Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

I have potatoes growing in a pot. First time I’ve tried it this way, but I’m sick to death of the taters I never planted coming up year after year in my small vegetable patch. Said patch is nothing but sage and oregano now – with the never-ending, never-able to fully dig out potatoes growing up amongst the uncountable stems and roots.

The ones in the pots were started from the eyes from store-bought spuds that I let get go to long before eating. I chopped those eyes out, left maybe a centimetre or quarter inch of potato ‘meat’ for sustenance, and put them on top of about an inch of compost. Once they started making leaves, I dumped in more compost. Repeat. The idea behind this is that potato plants will grow spuds all up their stem if the stems are buried as they grow taller. Supposedly. I’ll let you know in the autumn if it worked…

I rather slacked off on the ‘repeat’ part in the last two weeks, so this afternoon when I spotted the rounded side of a nice, fat, baby ‘tater emerging from the compost I figured it was past time for a dirt top-up. Then I looked again. It wasn’t a ‘tater!

A big snail had snuggled down into the dirt and under the shade of the leaves (probably to wait for darkness to start its evil plant-munching duties). I plucked it out of the dirt, meaning to toss it over the wall, safely away from my plants.

Something stopped my good right throwing arm; I held the snail, looking at the perfect camouflage sworls and swirls and zigzags on its shell. I removed the encrusted soil from its tightly-pulled-in foot. Then I set it on my hand, to see what would happen.

What happened is that I made a friend.
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The damn thing seemed to have a personality!

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It had no fear of me, or of cat, or of dog. Indeed, it seemed to be looking at me and saying “Hi!”

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“Howr’ye?”

How odd that I want to spend a little more time with this invertebrate. It was really fascinating to watch, and the slime wasn’t a thing like what a slug leaves behind: it washed off right away. What is odder, perhaps, is that I’m pretty sure I would eat this critter. If I had a few dozen of its friends to make it worth my while. Maybe I’ll start an escargot farm! I only had escargot once, but I sure did love it. I like chewy, garlicky food.

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Maybe I’ll just keep it around a bit longer, for more photo shoots, and try not to think about garlic butter sauce.

I Annoyed my Cat and I Laughed Like Hell.

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Spot loves to be cuddled under my right arm when we (rarely) settle in front of the TV. His place, every time, is to be squished under my body and covered by my couch-blanket, head and all.

Well. Couch-blankie (crocheted by Socks and much beloved) has good-sized holes in it. Holes that just happen to be the perfect size to poke kitty-ears through.

So I did.

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I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Poor Spotty-Cakes.

Rockin’ the Looking and Actually Seeing

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At work, we have a new parking lot. Less than a year old. It’s gravel, and had to be put in to keep us from parking where a big damn truck might hit our precious car. I park in it every damn day, because I’m the later shift and get there after everyone else.

I also sit out there for my lunch break, weather permitting. There is a raggedy chair that sits inside the back door. It seems to have no proper home in the, so I wheel it out and park it next to an air-conditioner that I use as a table. Classy! But private, for the most part, and I get the sunshine.

I see this stretch of gravel every day: sometimes four times a day, sometimes just twice. But definitely 10 times a week at the minimum.

Today when I went out for lunch, I saw something that caught my eye instantly. Can you see it?

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Weeds – yes. Boring grey rocks – yes. Occasional cigarette butt – yes. There is something else there. Something amazing. Look again if you can’t spot it!

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No, not my stupid damn finger in the shot! The one special rock. The one with a perfect fossil.

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Would you look at that! The most beautiful things can be right in front of you. You only have to really see when you look around. This seems to me a theme with me lately! I’m getting quite visual of late, since I let my meds run out (a tale of complaint for another day). No matter: I’m glad I was the one, the only one of the many many people who have walked on, driven over, spread, transported, and quarried this load of gravel that spotted and now cherishes this bit of beauty that was there all along.

Okay, confession time – I licked it to make it shiny for the last pic. I’m disgusting like that. Do you feel I’ve let the post down by showing off my blurry finger and my spit?

Meh, it had been in my pocket for a few hours, sure it was clean enough…

May-rry Christmas!

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Yeppers, it isn’t Christmas in July. It’s Christmas in May!

On Tuesday, we received a notice through our letterbox that we had a parcel for pick up. I wasn’t expecting anything, and it was addressed to both myself and iDJ – what could it be? Who was it from?

Well, dammit, it was too late to go and find out by the time iDJ got home at 6, so we had to wait and wonder a day longer.

The next day, the universe conspired to give us a small disaster and we were both home from work by noon. He drove up to an post and oooh! it was from my sister, now living near Anchorage, Alaska. We are a well-traveled small family – she more than I! In any case, they had only recently settled into their new digs in Alaska when the holidays rolled around. Dealing with all the paperwork and phone-call crap that comes with moving, their adorable three-year-old, unpacking, and having (of course!) our mutual genetic tendency toward being late as hell for anything that is supposed to be on time, sis got a parcel off to us at the end of March. As she said in her card*, “if I wait any longer, it will be next year!”

*I sent an email off to the creator of the card because the photo is too funny and I’d like to post it, but will not without permission and appropriate links. I’m too impatient to get this post up to wait for a response, however!

Do I care one bit about late? Hell no! A surprise is even better, actually – and since it came during aforementioned small disaster, it was even more welcome!

Hubby got two shirts – one I really want to steal that has our brother-in-law’s work logo on it. So wonderful to have a bit of his work uniform and feeling a bit closer to him. Also, it’s long sleeved jersey material – ooo, so perfect for work this time of year! **Rubbing hands in a crafty gleeful shifty-eyed way.**

But what I got? Way more awesome. Oh yeah.

Please bow down to the awesomeness that is: Hairy Leg Slippers.

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Now, my actual legs aren’t quite as hairy as the slippers, but the fur upon them isn’t lovely soft and blonde – oh no. I’m quite the brunette. Why doesn’t grey hair grow on my shins? It would save a lot of effort. You know, on those very, very few times I bother to run a dull razor over my legs…

When is the last time I changed those blades…

Anyhoo! They are totally awesome, because of this:

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Incredibly my sister had saved this photo and held on to it for years. She had an idea, a pattern, and the ability to crochet, and now my new slippers have my toenails! I can’t tell you how awesome that is – I can have my rainbow toenails even in the winter now!

By the way: I just re-read the post that the toenail pic came from (the shot is tiny, I know – I was new at blogging) and it is actually quite funny and explains an awful lot about my world view. Only two fellow bloggers even saw it at the time, being as it was my early days. Please have a gander – I think it is pretty good! Rainbow Toes, Fake Flowers, and the Fabulous Cow Coat

My sister is one of the very few people in my life who could conceive such an incredibly creative idea, and know exactly who would love it to bits.

I love you, sis – and thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Laundry Wars

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I have ONE CHAIR in our bedroom on which I put my clothes that are a little dirty, but not dirty enough to wash just yet. This includes my daily work clothes, which are really fuckin’ dirty after just two days but screw it, they can last a whole five days. I only have two pair of work pants that fit, and about three shirts I’m willing to destroy.

My darling dear has the ENTIRE spare room as his wardrobe; half-dirty clothes strewn all over the bed to be puked and shedded upon by the cats, his shoe collection lined up on the floor, under the bed, in the bottom of the wardrobe, and also piled on the dresser in their fancy original boxes. There is a perilous stack of shirts and trousers I’ve folded and piled up because I will wash it, and fold it, but I’ll be dammed if I’m putting it away in the nightmare he calls a wardrobe.

Did I mention the crap he tosses over the bannister ‘to air out’?

So. I get a little more than irritated when I go to get dressed in the morning and he’s tossed HIS SHIT on top of my ONE CHAIR in our bedroom.

I swear to fuck, next time he does it, I’m throwing the offending garment in the goddamn trash.

Rant over.

Boys and Girls, Guys and Gals, Men and Women

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Well. Isn’t that a broad topic? Gender and gender issues have been on my mind a lot lately. Always a big thing for me, actually, but I get outraged and angry so very quickly that I rarely get a chance to think rationally.

Anger is an energy, according to most of the former members of the Sex Pistols, otherwise known as PIL. Yes, it is, and if I could harness my own I could power a small city. (Great song by the way)

My family will confirm that I have always been prone to rage. “Temper tantrums” they said when I was little. “She’ll grow out of it.”

The thing is: I have never grown out of having temper tantrums. I have never seen the reason why I can’t be loudly outraged, to the point of kicking or throwing things, when shit is just that dammed stupid and I’ve had enough, enough, enough!

I can explain, or excuse, a good bit of my ability (or inclination, or sheer desire) towards letting loose and having physical expressions of rage by seeing my father lose his shit, and taking him as a role model. But my mom never did that, and my sister never did either: so why did I?

The only reason anyone has ever given me to not lose my shit, too, as an adult, is that women just don’t do that. So, is it a gender thing? is my first question. I have always been taught, by example, that women aren’t allowed to show anger. Or, god forbid, outright rage. Why the hell not? I certainly feel it, why do I have to hold it in? Isn’t that the same as holding in the tears when they want to come? Emotion is emotion, right?

Maybe not so much. Why is it that I refuse to shed tears unless I’ve really lost it, and only when I feel safe with the one I’m crying in front of. Or I do it secretly, which just makes me feel so alone and pathetic. I fucking hate it, and that’s a fact. Why did I choose the stereotypical male way of dealing with stuff that makes anyone want to cry?

Why is it that I have seemingly, unknowingly, chosen the male way of dealing with extreme frustration? Why do I react this way when my sister doesn’t? It can’t be nurture, it has to be nature. I had two older female role models, but what felt right to me was to be like dad.

So. Does that mean I’m a boy in my secret heart? Well. If it does, I’m a gay boy. Or a bisexual boy with a preference to other boys. My dad and my sister both read my blog, and while they don’t need details, I rather expect that they already know I’ve been adventurous with my sexuality. And I also know they both don’t judge me for whatever they think I’ve done. I love them both very much for that. (It’s not ever been as weird as you might think, guys! Or it didn’t seem weird to me…)

As usual, I’ve rambled.

I recently got quietly angry over a comment that I literally walked into at work. Some shit about how one fella’s wife has no ‘spacial awareness.’ I come through with a pallet full of boxes – that I personally didn’t put on that pallet, and the squeeze is tight and two of my boxes fall off. “Perfect example, women have no spacial awareness!”

Me: “you mean whoever loaded this pallet did a shit job of it, right?”

“Nope, women are shit at spacial awareness! Hahahahhahahahhaha!”

Didn’t say a dammed word at the time, because I was furious. I grumped about that for hours, really annoyed. I couldn’t decide if they were having fun with me as a member of the crew, or if I’d actually been slighted, hard. Truly, it was meant in fun. However. It put me in a shitty mindset, and that helped me make the decision: that was fuckin’ sexist and I had a right to be annoyed.

I never want to be the annoying asshole, but I also think I can, and should, speak up when it sucks to be the butt of a joke just because I’m female. I am sooo tired of that old joke. How do I respond, however, in a way that I can not only show that I’m not getting really angry (I’m not) but that it isn’t fuckin funny, either – so next time maybe don’t, okay?

All the over-sharing background just leads up to the last question. Is is me? Is who I am and what I feel based on my genitalia? I didn’t have a choice about what I was born with, but I’ve been dealing with people badly, awkwardly, my whole life. I never seem to quite understand anything other people say or do, confidently. I’m rather more comfortable at the moment with my interactions with the guys, and have a lot more fun with the boys than I ever did with the girls. It’s nice to take an insult as a joke, and a compliment with ‘shut up you’re distracting me!’

I’ve gone nowhere with this, and I’ve been writing for hours now. What do I tie this up with? I guess this: most of my followers appear to be CIS women – so how do you feel? Did anything I’ve said hit a chord in your heart-strings?

*sorry, dad, if I’ve upset you in any way. I know you aren’t the same person I knew as a kid. It’s still my history, upbringing, and the things I took on board when that was what kids do.

I Got Nuttin’ to Say

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So here are cute pics of my fur-babies.

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I know I give more e-time to the cats than the dog; so here she is having a nap on a freshly-washed rope toy. She is gorgeous.

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Might not look like it, but Spot was passed out hard with his chin on his “brother’s” flank.

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Brotherly lurve, including the underside of Spotty’s pink tongue.

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The best photo that wasn’t. If I’d gotten this in focus, it would have been right amazing! But I didn’t, so it isn’t, but you still are looking at it.

Red Dwarf Season 11!!!

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I am inordinately happy about this. Yes, I’m a giant geek.

http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/red-dwarf-blasts-eleventh-season.html

Some of the text from the website GiantFreakinRobot:

“Fans of deep space wackiness, robots, amazing absurdity, and a creature descended from the common house cat, have a lot to be grateful today. Once thought long dead, the venerable British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf is coming back to life one more time. Co-creator Doug Naylor has signed on to write an eleventh season, one which is already scheduled to shoot later this year.

For the uninitiated, Red Dwarf is the story of Dave Lister (Craig Charles). Through a series of unfortunate events he is the last living human in the known universe, and is stranded on a mining ship lost three million years in deep space. His only companions are the hologramatic recreation of his former bunkmate, a twit named Arnold Judas Rimmer (Chris Barrie); Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), a neurotic maintenance droid with a head that looks like a pencil eraser; and Cat (Danny John-Jules), a vain, ditzy humanoid that evolved from Lister’s cat Frankenstein. There’s also a time-addled computer, who has gender reassignment surgery part of the way through the series. The crew has all sorts of crazy adventures, meet all manner of space creatures, robots, and half-mad killer cyborgs, and even travel through time on occasion.”

Let’s hope this works: YouTube link to a really good top ten best of clips. I’m grinning like crazy still.
http://youtu.be/UVmKeisK2cU

How Many of Your 9 Lives Are Left?

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My darling dear had a terribly close call while driving to the shops recently. An auld wan pulled out right in front of him, on a wet road, when he had a young wan about a meter and a half off his bumper. (For the non-Irish: wan means woman, basically just ‘one’ but rarely used for men.) Cars coming the other way, too. He made the quick decision to pass the old dear right snappy, nearly clipping her wing mirror in the action, and facing down the oncoming traffic. He made it, and left the young woman tailgating his arse to deal with the slow car instead.

Braking hard would have made a sandwich of our Mini, and steering while under ABS braking isn’t ideal. So he went for it, as I would have too, because while the Mini is 11 years old and just went over 125,000 miles on Friday, she is quick when you need her to be. I trust in that car daily when faced with slow arseholes behind slower tractors going around hard curves on narrow ass roads.

There is a dammed good reason Minis are used as rally cars!

As usual, I’ve gone off into a story instead of getting to my point. Which is entirely based on the Facebook update he did after arriving home: “Many thanks to the lady who pulled out in front of me (doing 65mph) today. If I braked, Ms tailgater behind would’ve been on my lap so boot to the floor into oncoming traffic & bye. Missed her wing mirrors by inches & lost one of my cat lives.”

Cat lives… we say that cats have nine lives, of course. I know hubby has had some bad times and if he thinks this is a number down, I believe him. I know of one other time he came close. So unless I want to get him all grumpy thinking about other times, I’ll say he still has seven. In reality, it’s probably six, but I don’t want to put him in a bad mood by asking. Maybe five. Who knows. Four? Sure there was at least one close call when he was very small.

I already did one post about a time I could have died, so I won’t go into the others. That post was gory enough!

How many cat lives out of nine do you have left? Tell me a story or write a post and link back if you find it’s a really good story!