Friday, June 25, 2010

Boing, boing, dingdingdingding!

I have found a cute free pachinko game and I am going to have to ration myself. Sushi Cat!! It took me a bit before I realized that it was pachinko in a new guise. A wibblewobbly round cat guise. With Lucky Cat (Maneki Neko) bonuses! And groovy ska bkgrd music. Very little strategy, lots of watching the jiggly cat circle bounce. Total love. Here's an AV Club review, scroll down, it's the second game. Fond memories of my college roommate's pachinko game (dingdingdingding). Gravity and random rewards are fun.

In the morning I can go walking on a paved trail next to houses and a ditch creek. I only managed it once this week. I'm tired and dragging right now. Maybe I will catch up when Nod gets a real schedule in place. But back to the trail... I feel successful whenever I see animals. Monday’s haul: petite snails, a bunny, a woodpecker, a long tailed poodle, and a pair of hawks (I saw striped tails, maybe Sharp-shinned hawks or Cooper’s hawks).

On Saturday night my husband bravely went to the grocery store so we would have milk in the morning. When he came in he encouraged me to go out and see all the fireflies. I wandered out and could immediately see a few bugs lighting up near the houses, by the shrubs and trees. But when I got out to the trail by the ditch I was amazed. It was a multitude of tiny cool flashes, more than I've ever seen before. There was a great deal of communication going on out there. It was totally worth the three mosquito bites to see it.

I read Shauna James Ahern writing about how because of celiac, one bite of food with wheat in it can make her sick for days. But this sentence just sounded wrong: "90% of the serotonin made in our bodies is created in our intestines." After some googling I find that it is true after all. But the serotonin in the gut regulates the flow of stuff through there, not your mood. It sounds as though this isn't well understood at all yet. Harping on my belief that hormones rule our lives without our knowledge, it's probably got something to do with hormones as well!

The CDSea in England. Good art, man. An arrangement of thousands of shiny donated CDs spread out on a rolling meadow.

And for a parting shot: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but Hell’s patio is resurfaced with a nice textured concrete. Contractor did a great job." That's from adamisacson via the Art of Darkness which is good for the Halloween vibe all year 'round.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gliding

Most of the money stuff got finished today by noon. What a relief to get that over with and start a fresh weekend. The humidity was so high this afternoon that walking outside my toes in my sandals were sweating. So much water in the air I felt as though I should be looking for the beach. (Perhaps beyond that next cornfield?) We had a pizza and beer picnic in the basement because it was so much cooler than anywhere else.The children did not imbibe but Lexi did have a good time learning how to use a bottle opener. Then we went for a walk. It didn't last long but there were wildflowers and red wing blackbirds and bunnies (large and small) and I truly couldn't ask for anything more.

I am thinking about backing away from serving as a eucharistic visitor for the church. As much as I would enjoy supporting our deacons I don't think I need another responsibility. I need some puttering time, doing little creative projects. Did I mention my giant dancing puppet frame backpack idea? I have a sketch and everything, I just need to find an old frame backpack at a thrift store...

If you like folding paper, imagine the fun of making paper airplanes. Now imagine that you craft your paper airplane and then generate the wave of air that it rides on. This looks like such fun. I've made my first tumbler but haven't gotten the hang of the wave part yet. Thank you to BoingBoing for the link.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Emergency

Flea Emergency
It's not just my new favorite hypothetical band name. After waking up with an itch and then soothing a child who woke up in the middle of the night with a flea bite I escalated our household to Flea Emergency on Tuesday morning. I do suspect that the nice people at UC Integrated Pest Management have dealt with more vast and disgusting emergencies than ours. But I had lain awake in the night seething and the situation could not stand! UC IPM recommends mostly using the vacuum cleaner and washing machine, with spot use of a pesticide if necessary. I've done seven loads of laundry now and will be vacuuming daily (! Let's just say that's quite a lot more frequently than my usual schedule) where the cat hangs out and around our beds. She's already been Frontlined but that just made them jump into the carpet apparently. Death to the itty bitty little fuckers.

The Big Bus
Nod passed his test, got his learner's permit and got to drive the bus yesterday. He confirmed that it did make him feel a bit like he was seventeen. He's finding the corners and giving hell to orange cones and the occasional curb so far.

A Week Late and Several Somethings Short
Happiest birthday last week to the divine Danish. I am cobbling up a strange handicraft which I will send you with much love. I'm sorry I missed the day. Hope you are well into your celebration of the early 40s.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cha Ching

'End of the fiscal year' is a flat phrase that gives no indication of the sweating and sifting that we are doing down here on my end of the accounting totem pole. The worky stuff is in full flower this week and I am excusing myself from posting anything pretty or confessional or intriguing for a while. There, that ought to get me writing again.

I will take a moment to recommend King of Heists. Nod is on a true crime kick and handed it to me when he was done. It's a quick read biography of the man who was the architect (and not coincidentally that was his first career) for the largest bank robberies in New York City and elsewhere in the 1870s. A mostly well written book about a truly fascinating time in American history. It reminded me of Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale with the discussion of the underworld and the teeming filthy conditions of the tenements of NY at that time. Contrasted with the whopping wealth of the thin upper crust. All maintained by the openly corrupt city government (thank you, Boss). It's a bit of a stretch but this time period is also close to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1881) which I have been contemplating courtesy of the cheesy goodness of the film Tombstone. Well, really just Val Kilmer's wonderful performance and his truly unique phrasing of Doc Holliday's lines. It was all happening at once, the end of the civil war, western land grab, gold rush, all that jazz. Lots of stepping on others to grab yours. I had never understood the sarcasm of Mark Twain's phrase "The Gilded Age". I just thought 'gilded' meant 'fancy' but of course he meant that the flash and pretty were only skin deep.

Nod's taking his bus driver license exam tomorrow morning. Wish him luck! He may be piloting a city bus this summer. It's his interim part-time employment idea while working out what course of education he will pursue: Master of Social Work or appliance repair. Quite a contrast, no? I am uncertain how to feel about these choices.