Thursday, September 27, 2007

On Beer

I believe I did say that I'm doing my best to conserve water, n'est-ce pas?

Tonight that means drinking beer. And washing my FULL SINK of dishes using less than 2 gallons of water. Which then went on my mesclun.

So. Beer. It's so good. It's so good that I had just two of them and it makes me just sing with a slight buzz after two of them. I didn't know I got high-test beer until I realized that, um, I'm slightly more than buzzed after just two. Oh yeah. No dinner. Oops.

I'm partial to the IPA. Wait. Not that kind. The beer kind. I didn't used to like beer, but once I did, WATCH OUT! LIGER!

Oh dear. Blogging under the influence again! Wait. I don't know if I've ever done this before, actually.

Where did LIGER come from just now?



Only drops to drink

Last week my city went to mandatory water restrictions, Level III, and I don't think they're strict enough. We still have people able to water grass twice a week. And any conservation measure that are inside the house are likely ignored in most cases. I'm cringing at the thought of dripping faucets and not-full loads of laundry going on.

In theory, we only have about 2-months worth of water supply left. Why are we not at LEAST on Level IV water conservation measures (Scroll down)? The only major difference, it seems to me, is the lawn watering. God that burns me up. It's GRASS.

I'm going to try to do a lot better than I have been. I mean, I've got some fantastic habits already, but I can certainly improve.

This morning I put a big ole Rubbermaid tub in the shower and stood in it. Got quite a bit of gray water that I'll use for flushing and watering the veggie garden. I stepped out of it when I soaped up, so the water kept going into the tub when it wasn't on my body. I suppose I could also begin taking those really minimalist showers turning off the tap except to rinse. Hm.

Here's what else I'm doing or at least trying to do:
--limit toilet flushing
--minimize water used for dishwashing by keeping a rinsing tub in the sink. Re-using that gray water for other stuff.
--no watering of the compost pile (which I haven't done for ages, anyway, but it's useful for getting the decomposition moving along)
--drinking beer (heh)

I don't really ever wash my car, so that's not an issue. Also I never water the grass (if you hadn't noticed me mentioning that previously), and I NEVER, EVER have "washed" the concrete. I don't have a pool.

I plan to check out that gray water site a little bit better to see what else I can do without retrofitting a whole new system. Meanwhile do y'all have any other suggestions?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Extreme on the taste list

I ran out of beer!!!

Since my new roommate moved in, we've been keeping the house crazy hot again. I think it's somewhere in the low 80s in here right now, and I have to admit I'm sweaty.

I just determined it's cooler outside than in, at 7:10 p.m., and so I've opened the house right up.

But the dearth of beer is problematic.

I've broken out the big guns: cherries preserved in rum, mixed with simple syrup and seltzer. Iced.


On stress and poultry

Year: 1999
Setting: Townhouse, College Town, NC
Event: Out-of-Season Turkey Dinner, complete with Fixins (Capital F)
Invitees: Several close friends, and a few of their friends.

Situation: I had rescued a frozen turkey one March, from a man who was carrying it to the dumpster at my doctor's office. It had been in their freezer since DECEMBER! The HORROR!

Problem #1: The turkey was done 2 hours before it was supposed to be.
Problem #2: The guests were an hour later than they were supposed to be.
Problem #3: I hadn't yet learned that not every crisis merits a full fight-or-flight response.

Resolution: Upon the guests' arrival, I shoved a fork and carving knife into the nearest hand (which happened to be a guy I'd never met) and told the lot to "Shut up and cut the fucking turkey!"

Hoo boy!

I felt a little of that same feeling yesterday as I finalized this weekend's camping trip details. All of a sudden the friends accompanying me started to have input into the decisions I'd made in their stead, having lacked much helpful feedback until that time.

Why are we doing it this way?
Why not go here instead?
Is it worth going, if the drought is so bad?
Oh man, we'll have to portage some of it!
Don't canoes hold like, 1200 lbs? Why pack light?

I'd spent way, way too much time carefully planning the best course of action to react logically and calmly to these questions. I hid my irritation as best I could, but did tell a friend that I was having a "Shut up and cut the fucking turkey" moment. He'd been there to see that fabulous moment, so he knew exactly what I meant. He stepped up and planned out a menu for the trip.

It's going to be worth it, right?


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bitter Greens

I'm thinking I'd better grow some of the mesclun I planted during the Passover season. The arugula is spicy as all get out, the green and red leaf lettuces taste like they've bolted already. The kale is passable. Damn drought and stupid people washing cars.

Good thing I bought a pound of Belgian chocolates yesterday to sweeten my mouth up afterwards.

Here's my (stolen from a friend) basic vinaigrette recipe.

Olive Oil
Soy Sauce
Dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar

Um, I don't do proportions very well. Mostly oil--1 cup or so?. Then vinegar 1/3 to 1/4 cup?. Then soy sauce--um, enough, but not too much--1/4 cup or a little less?. Glop some good mustard in--1-2 T?. Chop up a clove of garlic and chuck it in. Crumble a pinch of dried thyme to release some of the good smell in it. Shake Shake Shake.

Keeps for ages in the fridge.


Did you miss me? Huh? I went a WHOLE DAY without saying anything! OMG! I can barely believe it myself!

Yesterday I went to a coastal city (~2.5-3 hrs) for a short meeting with another organization much like mine. I was accompanied by the other people who hold key positions here, and the purpose of the meeting was basically to compare programming and learn from one another.

It was fine, though tiring. Especially because I didn't exercise common sense on Sunday, and overdid some nice beer, food and company. I didn't sleep particularly well, either.

And then today,

Oh wait, let me interrupt this blog entry to say that I am over-the-top happy to have just discovered anew that I have a jar of Nutella in my office. Praise FOJ. Remember him?

Anyhoo, today I zipped in to work, hurriedly gathered up the lessons I was to begin at a far-away high school (20 miles beyond my office). On the way I get pulled over and given a speeding ticket for 54 in a 45 AND not having changed my freaking license address when I moved. I don't remember exactly why I didn't, but I think it was that I wasn't allowed to, for some reason related to a county-level tax mix-up.

The fine? $25.
Court costs? $120.
Total? $140

Mind you, this is the first speeding ticket I've ever gotten. (Praise FOJ). It's not going to give me any points on my license. Nor will it affect my insurance rates. (This all according to the charging officer).

Nonetheless, my court date is here in the city where I work at 7:45 a.m, in a couple of weeks. I don't have anything else planned for that time. I think between now and then I'll make sure I have my license replaced and then actually make them earn the damn court costs.

Fiber-Optic Jesus.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Productivity and the Beast

This morning I got up nice and early, having spent the night in. I hauled ass outside and did some long-overdue yard maintenance. Mowed, ripped out the zinnias, weeded the zinnia bed, moved the tarp off of the as-yet-unplanted bed, put cardboard down over all of that, and moved some compost to where it should be. It had been deposited in the wrong pile, see.

Oh, btw? I have a "secret" blog now. It's password protected, and it is going to be the place where I pour out my sturm und drang more privately. I'm the only one with the password. That's how it's going to stay.

Meanwhile, I'm taking suggestions on how to get a delicious, sweet hard shell, such as one finds on an M&M or Smartie. I want to custom order a full-body suit made out of that material. I considered Kevlar, but I don't want to be *that* closed off. Not yet.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm not attracted

I'm sorry, but there are just too many men in NC who a) like Nascar and b) have mustaches. And every single one of them seems interested in me.

As part of my current dating blitz (perhaps more accurately portrayed as a sputter), I've been checking out as many online dating sites as I can. The sad fact is that I've seen precious few men online who interest me in the least.

The men who look at my profiles, from what I can tell, average ~20 years older than I am, and inevitably have that mustache, and dopey eyes to go with. And faux wood paneling in their damn dens. With dark green velour couches. And horribly ruffly curtains like these.

I've got my grump on, peeps.

I can't even find a mustache image on google that is bad enough as to be accurate in the right way.

No more no less

I really, really like it when I have nothing to say and someone says something for me!

This weekend is going to be hot, and slightly odd. Some socializing, some errands/obligations, and maybe some hiking/swimming.

I let myself get dehydrated last night. Oof. Headache.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dental Dams for Dummies

Good point, dams are impossible to find, but condoms are everywhere.

So, for the record, a dental dam is a sheet of latex or polyurethane that serves as a physical barrier between the mouth and mucous membranes, during sexual acts, which helps prevent STD transmission. Remember, I'm not a doctor. This is not medical advice. Get tested regularly for STDs, and realize that all sexual activity includes some degree of risk.

Dental dams *are* sold, but mostly in health clinics like Planned Parenthood. Since not everyone regularly goes to PP, you can actually create makeshift dental dams!

From a condom: open up the package. Unroll the condom. Snip off the tip. Cut through the length of the condom/tube. Voila! Sheet of latex!

From a surgical glove: cut the fingers off. Cut open the tube. Sheet of latex! (wash off the talc before using)

From a ziplock baggie! (make sure it's not "breathable" or "microwave safe" or anything else that implies porosity. Cut off zip. Cut off bottom. Cut open into a sheet of polyurethane!

Place over vulva, anus or any other mucous membrane that needs protecting during oral contact. Put some nice lubricant between the damn and the skin for a better feel.

Safer Sex Party

The community I work in now is a lot more conservative than I'm used to. My job is different too--not focused just on reproductive health. I work in the schools quite a bit, in a school system that shies away from giving out full and accurate health information-- about certain topics, at least.

So combine these factors, and I've been doing a lot of "lifeskills" education. Communication skills, friendships, emotions, healthy relationships, decision-making....all good stuff, but not sex ed.

This afternoon I'll be participating in a local college's wellness fair, and then heading up to their "safer sex party" for some more activities. I feel rusty!

Should I do a condom-relay? Tape the dental dam on the vulva? Condom water balloon toss? Condom over the head contest? Vaseline vs. Water-based lube condom popping demonstration?

So many choices...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Something new again.

I've learned a bunch in the last week. For example, I can eat an entire cauliflower bigger than my head in one sitting.

This is how:

Mix in big bowl and toss:
One head of cauliflower, broken into florets.
One glug or two of olive oil.
1/2 lemon, juiced
Tandoori seasoning (please don't make it red, though)
Garlic powder (lazy!)
Cumin seed
Mustard seed

Put into a pan (9x13 glass casserole worked for me). Place in 450ºF oven. Forget it. Remember it and look in and see the edges of the florets are all browned. Good. Stir and place back in the oven for a bit more, because there's a little too much crunch left for your taste.

Take it out and eat it.



I also learned reintroduced myself to some idioms.

Flash in the pan is a good one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The pain in Pain pains painly in the pain

Lower first molar, right side.
Ow, ow, fucker. Ow.
I can has hydrocodone?

Chip Silvertooth? My dentist?
I know, bizarre name.
He moved out of state, the ass.

Neck hurts. Back hurts. Jaw's the worst.
Cold, hot, everything.
Insufferable dental angst.

(Thanks to those of you I asked for help. Two of my friends use the same dentist and raved about him. He got me in tomorrow, so I'm good.)

Speaking of things wet...

As of this coming Friday, my city is implementing stricter water restrictions. Hey, I'm all for it, but there's little on the list that I'm not already doing. I don't wash my car at all (it's noticeable), and I even parcel out the toilet flushes, as long as I don't have company. I recently witnessed a tooth-brusher leave the water running, and I lasted all of 20 seconds, maybe, before compulsively interrupting the tooth-brusher by turning off the tap.

Some of the restrictions make me cringe. Why do we need to remind people that washing off concrete is unnecessary? Do that many people regularly hose down their patios, sidewalks and driveways?

Related tangent: A couple of years ago, there were some acute water problems that led a nearby restaurant to switch to disposable plates, cups, silverware and such. The motivation for the change seemed to be that minimizing water used on dish washing would be a Good. Thing.

Is it?

I hate how hard it is to get enough information to make choices that work as best as possible with my beliefs and personal limitations. Water conservation or tree conservation? Paper or plastic? Local food or Ethical food?

Some of these choices are easy, of course. All other thing being equal, I'd choose to conserve trees AND water. Use no bag at all. Eat local food produced ethically.

But not all things are ever equal. I went to the grocery store this weekend for something other than milk for the first time since the Farmer's market and my garden ramped up. I bought a $1 cauliflower. A $7 beef roast. A $1 pound of carrots. A $3 5-lb bag of potatoes. Onions, when there aren't any available locally. (I was craving pot roast, can you tell? Oh, CROCK POT!)

It felt really wrong to do these things, but I was seduced by the price. The cauliflower is what really got me angry. ONE DOLLAR. *If* I can coax the cauliflowers I've planted to actually produce, they've already cost at least twice that. Economy of scale.

And what's with the damn limitations on watering applying to vegetable gardens, anyway?

Oh, and BTW, aren't I cute? Modest, too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Who knew?

ANYTHING can be made in a crockpot, people! OK, maybe not crunchy things, but anything wet can be.

As requested, a short explanation about the applesauce project.

All I did was chunk up some apples, skins and all, but not cores. Then I put them with about 1 inch of water in the crockpot, along with some spices (whatever you want...cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.) Let it cook. I've done it two ways so far; the first batch went in overnight and then some. ~12 hours, I'd say. It came out quite brown, like apple butter, but tasty. The second way was shorter cook time at a higher temperature. This came out slightly prettier, because the apples hadn't browned as much. I didn't sweeten the applesauce, but you can if you want to.

SO! Once the apples are done, mush them through a Foley food mill.

Eat or can.

(I ended up with 5 quarts and two pints, btw. So far).

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Are you at all sick of this if-it-weren't-so-real-it'd-be-saccharine mood?

Blame it on the rain.

Or maybe the bushel of Virginia Stayman apples I got at the SW Virginia Farmer's Market today that are currently cooking into applesauce for the canning. (Once again, thanks go out to our Marianne for my crockpot.)

Local apples which I bought on the way back from a wedding.

Where I saw my friend Cosmo marry the most perfect for him woman ever, each pledging vows that were exquisitely real.

While I was sitting with my good friend Nemoid.

Next to a spring-fed brook teeming with watercress.

Which I sampled.

But forgot to harvest.

OR maybe it's because I found out I'm getting a new computer for Christmas (together with my birthday).

A computer that, theoretically, won't have such issues as deciding not to charge. Or to only allow one application open before the spinny, rainbow wheel kicks in.

And I can get it whenever I want it. As long as I don't bitch when the holidays come.

Or maybe it's because I'm sunburned to a crisp.

Because of five straight hours in sunlight today, sans sunscreen.

Because you don't NEED sunscreen when it's only in the mid-60s, right?

And it's cold enough in those mountains to need a wrap.

Which you didn't bring.

Because you don't have one.

So you can just make one, right? No problem. 2 yards of brocade satin, some new scissors, 45 minutes to kill, a needle and thread? Wrap.

Or maybe I'm just happy. Things are going really, really, really well, my friends.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Something else to be happy about

At least an inch so far of glorious, lovely, drenching rain. I put a jar out there just now to check tomorrow to see how much more we get overnight.

Wow am I lucky.


There are a lot of good things in life, but one of the finest, simplest pleasures is to appreciate all that is around you in the moment that you're in it.

This morning I stopped off on a whim to Whole Paycheck to have breakfast. I was running early, and a slow cup of coffee outside was in the cards. I sat outside with my protein and fat-filled breakfast (lunch skipping, anyone?), and soaked up the atmosphere.

Two women approached, each with a stroller. One had a dog with a nylon head lead--a golden mix. I always wonder what those leads are for. They're not muzzles.

The baby I could see was sweet and zoned out. The dog was a lovey-lou who was dying for me to snorgle her. The food was just sublime, as was the coffee. There were birdies to watch, people to see, and for 15 minutes I was overcome with the presence of a beautiful morning.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh noes!

Mah poor, poor l'il baby laptop.

He won't eat. Well, it's not that he won't eat. He can't eat. His umbilical cord is just not getting him the juice.


I think I am going to be able to get him a new one through either Sean or Freecycle. Meanwhile, no compy at home until it's fixed.

Update: Freecycle rocks. After work I got a guy's old, somewhat flaky power cord. Parts of his cobbled with parts of mine has resulted in a working adapter. Phew!


It's cooling down FINALLY, at least today. Which reminds me that I've planted a fall garden and haven't talked about it beyond that time I was confused so about spacing and my tiny plot.

Planting happened a couple of weeks ago; I spent one Saturday scooping the sawdust mulch off of the area where the cukes had been and prepping the soil. I had purchased many a Brassica, swapped some with Maria, and ended up planting the following:

4 Red cabbages
2 Brussels sprouts
2 Broccoli of some variety I can't remember
2 Broccoli of another variety
2 Cauliflower
1 sq foot (approx) of Red Globe radishes
1 sq foot (approx) of French Breakfast radishes
2-3 sq feet of carrots
3 sq feet of various greens, from a "Mesclun" seed packet. So far I recognize arugula (rocket for those Brits who read) and kale. There's probably one lettuce of some kind. Maybe freckled.
Green onions? I put them somewhere and didn't label them. Oops.
2 sq feet of beets
One fall tomato plant (no big hopes, though)
Lettuce, maybe one head of, interestingly, the Grand Rapids variety. (Western MI represent!)

I have some good local garlic that I'll plant somewhere out of the way, since it takes something like 150 days until harvest. Jesus.

As to summer crops, I've still got jalapenos and, like, one sweet pepper that might make it. Soon I'll rip all that out. I have only one sad summer tomato plant hanging on. It was my favorite this year (Pink Beefsteak), for both flavor and volume of output. Mr. Stripey was annoying in that it decided that it wanted to be tasty for worms. I brought a traveler back to MI with me, much to my family's annoyance. Since then pretty much all of the cute, yellow and red tomatoes have been one, internal rotten spot.

Yeah, this is as good a place as any to do a tomato variety recap.
Indian Stripe: very yummy, but didn't really produce.
Pink Beefsteak: Love love love love love love.
Extreme Bush: Nasty, sour, thick skinned.
Mr. Stripey: Meh.

Next year I want to plant more red slicers.

I also want some normal peppers. This year mine essentially sucked. The frigitellos are cute and all, but not enough output. I accidentally planted only two sweet peppers and 7 spicy. Reverse that next year, mmmkay?

MORE MELONS! I bet I can buy some potting soil, cut an X in the bag and plant a melon in there and put it in the front or side yard. RIGHT ON.

I'm bored with writing this, so I'm going to stop now.

Open Book

I forget just how much of myself I put out into the world via this blog, until a new person I know or am getting to know begins to read. I looked back at some of my entries from a number of months ago, and WOW did I have a bad year last year!

Up and up and up--that's where things always eventually head, given enough time and perseverance, isn't it? Ebb and flow...

I bought some cheap plastic kites yesterday. They're in the shape of birds--wood duck and peregrine falcon.

I'm happy today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In Charge

A camping trip I'm going on at the end of the month is apparently Without Planner, which I discovered when I pumped my contact for the details. He's not been able to arrange what he wanted to be doing, so I'm going to try to step up to the plate.


Help me, if you can.

Do you know of any places within an easy drive of the RDU area that does overnight canoe camping? Where you can rent the canoes?

Some links for me to check out. (This is a handy place to make some canoe-camping bookmarks for me.)

Carolina Canoe Club Canoe Camping (info about the W-S area Dan river, especially)

A Dan River rental place

New River canoe rentals, including an overnight thing.

Frog Hollow, A local-ish outdoor trips place

Raven Rock State Park (but where to get the canoes?)

This looks promising:


Last night Michele and I went to trivia, accompanied by a couple of fine, upstanding young men.

Man #1 "How do you know each other?"

(Michele and Stew share gazes...slightly panicked, maybe. They silently agree)

Michele: "Well, we both have....blogs"

Stew: "Yeah, we kind of were reading the same ones, and realized we were both in NC, and then..."

Michele: "...Stew was moving and needed boxes, and I had just moved ..."

Stew: "And then she let me stay at her house!"

I have no idea what the men thought about this, but it was fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If only

A friend of mine is getting married this weekend up in SW Virginia, or I'd be going here to enjoy the festivities.


For Marc

Marc wasn't buying the last Stew Simpson, so I've tried another. Please, Marco especially, let me know if you think this looks substantially more like me.

Not that it's particularly important or anything.

Happy Ethiopian Millenium, btw!

Things I run across

I have an eensy problem, I fear: there's NO getting me off the internet. I woke up smack dab at 6:00 a.m. today to get a move on. Which has consisted of a) making coffee.

Uh, not quite what I had intended.

On the plus side, I came across this gem on a website I read. I may have accomplished nothing I had hoped to this morning, but at least I laughed.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


My new roommate seems to be a really upstanding guy. That's cool.

We each had first dates yesterday, and it was kind of fun to have a little pow wow about them this morning. He gave me some technical assistance regarding male behavior. We commiserated about dating ups and downs, and per new roomie's request, I pledged to kick him in the ass if I found him in the fetal position on the couch, lovesick.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Mostly ups. Lots of affection. Busy schedules. Just FYI.


So far, a great day. Woke up early, made some coffee, had some cherries, and Maria arrived. We hit the market here. She knows EVERY-freaking-BODY in the farmer's market culture, I swear. I love Maria. She also made the fabulous suggestion that we go to the quarry that Philcito first took me to a couple of years ago. We hiked in, swam for an hour or so, hiked back out and stopped at a scary gas-station/oldmantobaccobaitgunshop. DC for me, agua for Maria and back to the house. Gave her some cherries and chard (my chard is apparently the envy of the town), and sent her off.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon either resting or obsessing.

Off to the American Tobacco Campus. See you around.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Tomorrow I have a first date that seems very promising. I discussed it a bit with Marc, and he sent me this graphic in response.

With this particular guy (who knows very well I'm "lastewie" to some, so OMG what if he's seeing this??) I sense we're up to the second pink box, having inverted it and the step before it. I'm not so sure the "getting laid" step is the next one. In fact, I'm damn sure it's not.

I know this graphic is meant to be all cynical and shit. Call me naive, but I'm in more of a "wheeeeeeeeeeee!" phase. We've interacted a lot, over IM, mostly. Admissions of blushing and smiling and active flirting have happened, and we've even touched on deep thoughts and values.

I'd change this graphic a bit to add in the ups of dating, too. What a rollercoaster.

This is fun.

There's a big part of me, of course, that is stuck in the "embarrassing moments of vulnerability" stage as well.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Because who DOESN'T want a decorative hidden litterbox?

Coming back from MI on Tuesday, I picked up the SkyMall catalog. I thought about ganking it from the seatback in front of me and taking it with, but decided that would be a waste of glossy paper.

Here's a list, because it's all I'm compelled to share with you today.

A partial list of things I hope I'll never buy or receive as a gift.

By: Stewbrain McButterpants

Ergonomic Hair Care System
Kitty Washroom (not the only version of this type of product)
Hands-free Binocular Glasses
Inflatable Movie Screen
Basho The Sumo Wrestler Table
Flying Alarm Clock
Voice Activated Grocery List Organizer
Sacro Wedgy (what???)
Deluxe Prism Glasses
Stress Eraser (quack alert!)
The Perfect Pushup
Hollywood Cookie Diet
Be Nice or Leave Sign
Chilled Shot Machine


Here's where someone less lazy than I am at the moment would go ahead and blather on about the culture of consumption and how my values tend towards less not more. How these types of items are unnecessary and ego-feeding. Or else they're symptoms of a very sad, boring life. And how it's way more in line with my own belief structures to make-do with things you find or can borrow or buy used.

Nobody ever lives 100% by their values, but I'm going to keep trying.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pant pant pant pant!


I have about 12 mosquito bites that I am trying valiantly not to scratch, after having taken a hairbrush to them.


Holy shit shit shit shit shit shit....

Soon the benadryl will have knocked me out. I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


This morning, my last in MI, I sat nestled in the window seat with my coffee and looked at the birds at the feeder.

First I saw a gorgeous male American Redstart. I saw one in my yard at home the other day, too--a new yard bird for me. I've now seen this species in Michigan, in North Carolina, and in the Caribbean.

As cool as the Redstart was, though, I was extremely surprised to get a new lifer, as pictured from someone else. An eensy-bitty Red-Breasted Nuthatch swooped down to the feeder, grabbed a nice seed, and zoomed back over to a blue spruce in the neighbors' yard. I was impressed with myself that despite an originally flash-like glimpse, I identified the bird based on my General Impression of (its) Size and Shape (GISS--unfortunately pronounced "jizz"). Sibley and a number of much longer observations confirmed it. Cool.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Oh my.

Notes from Michigan, before I leave:

1) Thankfully, the box that I'll be filling with 40 lbs of frozen tart cherries will fit the luggage requirements, even if do go for the dry ice method.

2) Even the cutest little nephew* can get annoying.*

3) Stella the Labradoodle is the nicest blond dog in the house. And her legs will outlast your arm any day, even though she's leaping through water and you have a catapult.

4) The birds are by the crolf course by early September and not the nature preserve. Red-eyed vireos, black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice...and one magnolia warbler. Other stuff, too, but I can't remember.

*Aunt Nen, can I sleep with YOU? Aunt Nen, will you eat next to me? Aunt Nen? I love you! Aunt Nen, can I come live with you at your house? Aunt Nen? Can I sit on your lap? Aunt Nen, it was so nice to 'nuggle with you.

**Aunt Nen, tell me if I'm about to pee the bed, OK? Aunt Nen, I'll just pat your fat tummy. Aunt Nen, can I come in? Aunt Nen, can I come in the shower with you? Aunt Nen, are those your milk nipples? (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Aunt Nen, do you have milk in your nipples? (Why did I think he was so cute again??)