Monday, April 27, 2015

Homework: Nature

Well, it seems that I am awake enough to have remembered to do my homework this month.  The fact that I do this month's topic for a living helps, because I don't have to think very hard or go very far for content.

I work at a small suburban nature center.  I teach kids about squirrels and dirt and trees and rocks and birds.  It is my business to know NACHUR (as the kids like to spell it).  So I figured I'd just post a bunch of pictures I've taken at work in the last two months.  Cool?

There are plants at work.

Some are spiky and pink.
Some are VERY spiky and pink. 
Some are just pink but not spiky at all.

And things that are not plants.

There is a fungus amungus.

 There are animals at work.
The raccoons don't usually come out in the daytime.
The salamanders would prefer not to come out at all, but I moved his rock.
Some are just busy chompin on a leaf and don't seem to notice when you stare at them.
Sometimes those animals need a little assistance.
Like when the ants find them as they're coming out of their chrysalis and they need to be rescued.
Or when they fall out of their nest and need a little snack before trying to fly again.
Or when they smack into a window and are too dizzy to get off the walkway.
And have to be moved so they don't get stepped on.
And feel kind of cranky about it for a while.

Nature is lovely, and I suggest everyone spend a little time there once in a while, but remember....

So make sure you tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, so they know where to send the search and rescue team!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Liebster Award

Aaaaaaaay, hellew darlings, I am mildly inebriated and screwing around on the internet and Franny over at The Curious Professor Z tagged me in an award thingy and I don't know how to play this game but what the hell.  I like Franny, she's good people.

The Rules:
1. Post award on your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who presented this award to you and link back to their blog.
3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs who you deserve this award and who have fewer than 200 followers.
5. Answer the 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

My entire blog is a compilation of random facts.  

1.  I'm pretty sure that somewhere in a past life, I made ceremonial headgear for some sort of temple.  It is the only possible explanation for my compulsive need to make ridiculous hat things.  They're so not wearable, and becoming a storage problem, but I just can't help myself.  Wire Anubis head?  Carnivore flower feather fascinator?  Fictional star system?  Bunny ears?  Rat ears?  Moth antenna hatband with all five patterns of caterpillar  instar?  Elaborate witch hats?  It's getting ridiculous in here.  If I were a better photographer, I'd show y'all.

2.  My house, which was my grandmother's, is a mishmash of Japanese antique furniture, midcentury modern, 90s upholstery draped in canvas dropcloths, and gold plastic dinosaurs.  Most of the rooms in this house are heavily pink, except my guest room, which is where all non-pink and non-Japanese-antique objects live.  It's olive green and brown and leopard.   I strive for tackiness, but usually I just achieve total disorder.

3.  After working outdoors for 13 years, I am reluctant to spend any of my free time there.  The idea of going hiking or camping makes me grumpy, because it's too much like being at work.  I don't want a table on the patio at a restaurant.  I'm not even super fond of sitting in my yard, much to my cat's dismay (he requires supervision outside, and he wants to be outside all the damn time).

4.  The day I realized that having children was optional was one of the best days of my life.  I have no desire to be anyone's mother.  I find babies and young children utterly uninteresting.  I will interact with elementary school kids because I am paid to do so, but if I'm off the clock.... no.  That said, I like certain individual children, and I am very nice to kids that I come into contact with.  Kids often like me because I'm silly and I have purple hair and I tend to have candy and treasures on me at all times.  I'm a very good teacher.  I'm just glad there aren't any children in my house.

5.  I do not like suspense-and-startle movies, and will probably not go see Jurassic World because of it.  I love dinosaurs, and I love Chris Pratt, and I love ridiculous campy plot lines, but I have enough problems with anxiety. I also do not do gore.  Nope.  Not interested.

6. I love my dog into the cores of my bones, but I am really more of a cat person.  

7.  I am extremely open about my mental health issues (ADHD peppered with OCD and chronic mild-to-moderate depression) because I do not think that they are shameful things that should be hidden.  I wish more people would be up-front about their own issues, because I think we'd all be a little gentler with each other if we could see how scarred everyone is.

8.  I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

9.  I am a creature of habit.  I order the same thing at a restaurant every time.  I wear the same basic outfit every day.  I have M-W-F shoes, T-Th shoes, and weekend shoes.  I have carried the same purse since 2007.  I don't like interrupting my routines.  When I deviate from the choreography of my life, I get sick.  

10.  My bedtime was 15 minutes ago, and I am sleepy, but I will finish this.

11.  I am allergic to cherries.  

11 Questions:

1. When and why did you start blogging?  I can't remember anymore.  Years ago.  Mostly because I needed a place to vent.  It's cheaper than therapy.

2.  With MP3s and internet streaming, do you still buy CDs and DVDs?  DVDs yes, CDs not usually.  I'm not super into music.  I never have been.  I listen to podcasts more than music nowadays, but usually- it's just quiet.  I generally only buy DVDs if they're not super readily available.  I don't have "The Lord of the Rings," because I know I can probably find someone to borrow it from, but I do have "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Waking Ned Devine" and "Oscar" because you don't generally run across those movies on the usual platforms.

3.  How would you describe your style of dress?  "Total apathy."  I wear jeans and a tee shirt every day.  I have two pair of minimalist Merrells that I rotate during the week, and a pair of Crocs I wear on the weekends because I have plantar fasciitis and they're the only shoes that don't hurt.  I buy clothes maybe once a year, usually jeans and black hoodies.  I hate shopping, and I don't like trying to put together an outfit.  It's that "creature of habit" thing.

4.  What religion of philosophy do you ascribe to?  In the voting booth, I am a secular humanist.  In my personal dealings, I strive to be kind.  I hero worship Steve Irwin and Bob Ross and Carl Sagan and Jim Henson. I like stories about Deities.  I am distrustful of organized religions and anyone who thinks there's only one way up the mountain.  I'm not worried about what happens after death, I'm worried about suffering in life.  I am always aware of the phases of the moon and the equinoxes and solstices.  I like seasonal holidays.  I've read a lot of the books, but didn't feel compelled to buy any of them.  When I am old, I want neighborhood children to whisper about me.

5.  What are your favorite TV shows on the air right now?  I don't watch TV.  The only current shows that I bother to stream are Archer, Bob's Burgers, and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.  I listen to podcasts more than anything else.  I currently rotate through StarTalk, The Infinite Monkey Cage, The Nerdist, Girl on Guy, The Smartest Man In The World, and Welcome to Night Vale.

6.  What other hobbies to you participate in, besides blogging?  I make stuff.  I sculpt, I sew, I paint, I draw, I build, I jury-rig, I cobble, I cook, I dye, I design, I costume.... I'm pretty creative.  Let's see.... I read a lot, all non-fiction.  I walk the dog.  I play with the cat.  I entertain the rats.  I make my hair funny colors.  I sometimes watch birds.

7.  If you participate in the arts, which ones do you participate in?  Are you a hobbyist or a professional?  Well, I do all the stuff I mentioned above... I also do makeup for the Pageant of the Masters in the summertime, and I've been doing it for 13 years, but that's a volunteer gig.  I am not good at exchanging money for art.  I'm not opposed to it, but I usually do things because I enjoy the creative and technical challenges.  I'm not prone to making more than one of anything.

8.  If a movie was made of your life, what actor/actress would play you?  It'd probably be animated.  Maybe puppets.  I wanna do my own voice.  I've got some rather distinct speech patterns and vocal tics.  I'd like to see people's impressions of me, though.  

9.  Choose one:  Coffee or Tea?  Plain black tea, iced is better than hot.  I don't drink coffee.  I gave up Diet Pepsi last summer.  Now I drink a lot of plain seltzer water.

10:  What colors have you dyed your hair?  I have had basically every hair color that is possible in the human hair color spectrum- from platinum blonde to black, and all points in between.  I have also gone every shade of purple, every shade of pink from lychee to magenta, reds from fire engine to burgundy, orange that faded to yellow, various blues from periwinkle to cobalt to navy, all the turquoises from aqua to teal, and the greens from mint to lime to emerald.  I am currently mostly blue-purple, with blonde-grey-lavender around my hairline.

11.  Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?  Introvert.  I interact with a lot of people at work (mostly children, who are energy vampires).  When I get home, I have nothing left.  I love revolving sushi bars, the self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, text messaging, and online tutorials, because they do not involve interacting with others.  I like people well enough, but they're exhausting.  I'm a friendly hermit.  

Everyone I read has basically already done this one before, so how about this- if you read this, and you want to answer questions like those up there, consider yourself nominated, and link to it in the comments, so I can read about you?

Tell me all about yourselves, darlings.

Whoa, I really WAS tired when I hit "publish" last night, that was REALLY badly formatted.  I think I fixed it?  

Friday, April 10, 2015

How many days does it take?

How many days of vacation does it take for me to sleep enough to feel rested enough to actually tackle housework?  Four.  The answer is four.  Four days of almost total sloth, and now I'm raring to go.  Of course, I have to work tomorrow.... figures.

Never plant a carrotwood tree.  The root systems never die.  My mother and I spent a few hours hacking at roots from a tree that has been gone for a year.  They are still growing.  It's like a hydra.

I cleaned my poor cracked shabby leather couch today.  So grimy.  So very grimy.

My vacuum smells like fire, so I have to take it apart to fix it.

I have washed almost every bit of fabric in this house.  My water bill is going to be insane (but since I have mostly dead landscaping, I think I get a pass during this drought).

My house would be cleaner if my animals weren't like swiffers.  Trixie was helping us dig, and Zippy likes to roll in the dirt patch that used to be the lawn.  When I drop him, there is a visible cloud of dust that poofs off him.  Fantastic.

Clean clean clean.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Yesterday, I turned 37.  The last official year before I am "old."

Old woman!
Old man, sorry.  What knight lives in that castle?
I'm 37.
I'm 37, I'm not old.
Well, I can't just call you "Man."
You could say "Dennis."
I didn't know you were called "Dennis."
You didn't bother to find out.

I spent the day at the Ren Faire with Bosslady and Bosslady's Boyfriend.  I wore bunny ears and a bunny tail and got extremely grimy and only somewhat sunburned.  The other participants of the Pub Crawl sang to me at Ale Tent #4.  I left my house at 8:30 in the morning and didn't get home till 9:30 at night.  It was a long long day.

I spent all day today sleeping and groaning about a headache, except the bit where I took the dog to the oncologist for her 3-month checkup and chest x-ray.  It was clean.  She's going to the groomer tomorrow because she is absolutely filthy.

Zippy kept me company during the third and fourth naps of the day.  He has no idea how to cuddle, and he doesn't sleep in the bed at night, but if I am home during the day, he likes to sleep on my lap.  Trixie is very jealous of Zippy Time.  She loves her cat, but is not great at sharing.  Such is life.

I am taking the week off work, because I am supposed to teach 3 of the 4 enrichment camps at work and I already did both winter camps and ski week camp and it is allergy season.  I have to pop in to work tomorrow, though, because I have to do a few piddly time-sensitive things like change a kiosk and email the butterfly guy and pet the rabbits and say hi to the lizard.  These are parts of my job that I do not dislike.  Well, maybe not the butterfly part, but I sort of accidentally became the office butterfly specialist, and with great butterfly knowledge comes great responsibility during butterfly season.

I've been on a Carl Sagan kick.  I finished reading "Cosmos" a few weeks ago (it still holds up, but it's scary how many of the problems he was outlining in 1980 are still problems today), and just started "Billions and Billions" (published in 1997 and so far is about putting the brakes on climate change- sorry, Carl, we're letting you down).  I am grateful that there is so much audio and video of him, because now I can hear the text in his voice in my head.  Not sure what I should read next- "Demon Haunted World?"  "Pale Blue Dot?"   I don't really read fiction.

I'm thinking it might be time to grab the dog and the cat and try to head off to bed.  Maybe tomorrow I will do something other than just sleep.