Monday, May 31

Mesmerizing, hypnotizing.

Okay okay okay.

i always hear about stuff too late. And this is no exception:

My first (and still best) exposure was this. (warning: it may play choppily if you have many other things running on your computer, or if you are looking at another window while it plays.)

(By the way, here is that original video; it was put together by a young Australian guy using sounds and sights found in the animated movie Alice in Wonderland. Gives me shivers, it's so good. But then, i am madly in love with that movie.

Another video worth a listen (and watch) by him is the Mary Poppins track. Guy knows his melancholy.)

Unfortunately, nothing else i've played on YooouuuTuuube fills me with as much satisfaction as that Alice video. Still a neato tool, though.

More talent.

i am digging this guy's art. Jon Han. Love the color and the geometry of it.

An Open Letter to Serious Dimwits.

Dear fuckwits drinking beer and blasting music by the pool (because it's Memorial Day Just Another 'Legitimate' Day For You To PARTY DOWN, woooooo!),

i have zero sympathy for the fact that the police were called and came by to kick your asses out. When you treat the security guard like shit (4 times!) and refuse to tell him which apartment you live in (and yet adamantly maintain that you are doing nothing "wrong"), there will be consequences. Sorry your super-sweet pool party got shut down. Sorry that some of us who live hear don't actually enjoy listening to your favorite talentless Top 40 'musicians' filling the air with tonal diarrhea while you sing warble backup and drop beer bottles every five minutes.

p.s.) omg, it like so totally was funny when the puppy like totally jumped in the pool after you!! Especially cuz, like, there are no animals allowed here! omg.

Saturday, May 22


...because sometimes, just sometimes, i am here to help blow your minds.

(Click on the titles of any of the above videos to watch them, full-sized, on their proper sites. Honestly, i don't know why i can't figure out how to format things to fit on here.)

Calamity Jane.

The other day i got battery acid, bleach, and rubber cement on my hands. Just, you know, part of a day in the life.

My bike light wasn't working, and when i cracked 'er open to replace the batteries, i was greeted with a nasty white, grainy film. After removing the spent batteries, i noticed piles of the stuff, beneath, and all over the metal contacts themselves. Asked Nat to look up if there was a way to clean this stuff off, or if i had to buy a whole new bike light. Turns out i had corroded battery badness all over my hands. Yum. This fact was especially fun because i happened to have a big old fresh cut on my left palm from trying to pick up a piece of beargrass at work while i was unknowingly stepping on the other end. sliiiiiiiice.

Later, i was patching the inner tube for my back wheel–it was definitely a bad day for bikes–and while stubbornly squeezing the tube of adhesive, i didn't notice that the flimsy metal casing had ripped open (probably from my thumbnail) and was oozing "TOXIC POISON" all over my fingers. Peeled it off in a tizzy.

The bleach thing is commonplace: we have it at work, in a repurposed dish soap bottle. a few drops go into almost every clean bucket of water before we put new flowers in it. Helps to keep the bacteria levels down. The downside of this arrangement is that sometimes the bottle falls into the sink, sending little droplets spraying every which way; my clothes are spattered with scads of tiny, light spots. And, on the odd occasion, one of us will grab it to wash our hands with. Oops.

Besides all of this, my hands are just jacked in general. When you use your hands as tools, this can (and certainly will) happen. Also, i don't wear gloves at work because it impedes my ability to handle anything efficiently. In fact, at the stained glass store where i used to work, we didn't wear gloves, either. When you are moving around a four foot-by-two foot sheet of glass, you want to be damn sure that you can feel the glass in your fingers. There is not a whole lot of room for error, and i have never found a glove skin-tight enough to dispel all unease. At least one of us, on any given day, had a bandage on her fingers from a glass cut. People (customers, acquaintances) would always tell us to "just wear gloves"– ah, thank you, Captains Obvious.

Stripping the greens off of the lower stems of flowers and leafy items leaves you with shriveled, permanently dirty hands. Painting your nails is basically an exercise in futility, and no amount of lotion will drench your parched palms. The amount of time that your hands are wet makes for a chapped skin affair for the ages. Sometimes, when a really precious girl says to me, "i would just love to work with flowers", it is all i can do to contain my snicker. Girly, i think, you can kiss that French manicure goodbye (see above reasoning). And your designer clothes (hello, pollen stains!), and your high heels (concrete for 8 hours, anyone?), and your breezy attitude (seriously, we are selling people something that's already dead, and at 3x the market price). i have, in fact, worked with people like that, and it just never pans out. You either aren't afraid to get dirty, or you are. You can't work in the flower shop all day and expect to leave immaculate. It's just not part of the deal.

Although, i suppose it does have its rewards...

Monday, May 10

Notes from (relative) suburbia.

If, one afternoon while walking home form work, you see an alarmingly red-hued pile of barf on the sidewalk and an empty bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos nearby, keep your wits about you.

If you, like me, leave your butter out (because nothing is more annoying than tearing a nice hot piece of toast with a cold pat of petrified fat), please don't ever place it on top of your toaster oven in haste because you 'need the counter space'. Later, when you are toasting a Pop Tart for dessert, you will return to the kitchen after hearing the faint ding! of Deliciousness Ready, only to find a pool of melted, salty grease all over your toaster, counter, floor; best let it harden back up before any cleaning attempts. Also, if you are still like me, make sure to do this at least 4 times before you learn your lesson.

There is a lovely pair of nesting mallards in our building's swimming pool. An internet search on whether or not this was good for them resulted in thousands of hits about how to rid your pool of these loud, pooping , salmonella-infested flying pests.

Watering the plants on the balcony yesterday proved to be difficult because the watering can would only trickle, even though it was full of water. Puzzled, i sloshed the water around a bit, hoping to dislodge whatever it was, and then i decided to actually look into the spout, which yielded quite a surprise: something dark and fuzzy and symmetrical was peering out at me. Left it for the next day, as the dark was settling in... Upon inspection this afternoon, noticed a pair of antennae poking out. Doesn't take an entomologist to conclude that this is probably the moth that's been laying the eggs that turned into the caterpillars that've been chomping away at Nat's Sarracenia.

i blew on her antennae, and performed a few other cursory examinations, and decided that she was probably dead by now. Using a chopstick, i poked her back down the spout into the can. Filled it up with some more water, dumped it all out, and Nat noticed that there was some life in her yet. i almost cried. She needed to be put out of her misery. One size-13 boot stomp later, and my soul was a little lighter. But not by much. Sorry, little friend.

Red tide has hit San Diego, and there are bats flying around in the courtyard at dusk these days. There have been at least fifteen bees pollinating the flowers at my work every day for the past week. Is this the return of wildlife? If so, it's about damn time.

Elephant skulls are honeycombed, so that the gargantuan beasts may more easily move around their hefty skeletons...

(There is nothing more depressing than a pizza delivery flyer on a dead man's door.)

Worked extra hard for moms this past week. Totally worth it, of course. Discovered a new spray rose, the Mimi Eden:

...ahh, ain't she lovely? Doesn't really come through in pictures, though. Hm, i may need to start a Tuesday Rose weekly post. Plenty more where this came from.

In other news: i'm starting a jar (okay, so it's actually a box), to put money in, toward my dream of someday owning and running a flower shop. Possibly with my best friend. Time to start moving towards what to do with the rest of my days.
Baby steps.

Tuesday, May 4

hiding in plain sight.

So, Sunday was the second time i've done it.

The 'it', here, being...

::looks around suspiciously::

... geocaching.

Now, i'm sure this is no big secret, but i'd sure like to pretend that it is, and i'd definitely like to keep it that way if possible. (Posting about it to an almost infinite public can only bring this about, correct?)

So basically you log on to the website. You type in your zip code, to find a cache near you. If you have a GPS device (i'm workin' on that), you can download the coordinates, and off you go. If you do not have a GPS device, it is somewhat trickier but by no means impossible. The coordinates listed can be found easily on a Google Earth map. Although, i should point out here that the first cache i found was clued only with words and vague locations, so, no coordinates were used; but the second one was right on the money, coordinates-wise. After i head out to get #3 i will experience more about how truly accurate this method is. Mostly, i do not have the money to be spending on electronics right now, especially one that is this frivolous. If i had a cell phone, it would be easier (you can get GPS capability these days), but i do not and that, my friends, is that.

i heard about this random activity while watching a fairly terrible movie, and my zeal was undeniable. i couldn't wait to get out and find stuff! Stuff that other people had also found. i know: exciting, right? Boy, howdy! What could be more interesting than strangers' signatures and lots of tiny, random flotsam left behind?

To be honest: not much. The thrill i felt when i found the first one was palpable. Feeling like a spy on a top-secret mission, i flipped through the log of names from the past (it had been there since 2005!), and sorted through the little bits and pieces left behind: a wee Hello Kitty eraser, a wooden cross, a quarter, a small compass... The box itself (a camouflaged Altoids tin) had been magnetized to the underside of a phone company box, and apparently had been discovered by a worker: inside was an AT&T business card scrawled with the message: have fun, guys. Well shucks, dude– i am! Thanks!

If you take something out, you are supposed to replace it with something of equal or greater value (whatever that means, considering what paltries we're dealing with). i took out a wooden 'geocachers' coin (emblazoned with a local church's name and creed), because i saw it as proselytizing (boo, hiss), and left an Andrew Bird button from my bag, because i literally had nothing else that would fit in that tiny tin. We signed our names – with hearts, 'cause we're dorky like that – and closed the box back up. i looked around to make sure no one was watching and placed the box quickly and carefully back where it had been, where it lay in wait to become part of some random, invisible thread connecting the next person in the future to this place, to all of those who'd visited in the past, and to us in that present.


Surprisingly, i suppose, Nat is supportive of my strange new activity. It gets me out of the house, and even though it doesn't necessarily cost anything, he is actually encouraging me to get a GPS device (or rather, he is using this scenario as more evidence of why we should finally get cell phones; look, i will resist as long as i possibly can, dammit!).

For someone who suffers from anxiety, and specifically social anxiety, getting out of the house can be a monumental hurdle. On days when i don't have to be at work it is, sadly, rare for me to go outside. This is super pathetic, and believe me when i tell you how aware of that fact i am. One shrivels up in self-doubt, wilting and cringing and feeling guilty about it all later. True story.

But this, at least–this–has got me out. Granted, i had Nat come with me both times, but i'm sincerely hoping that will change. It's got me back on my bike, which is excellent because exercise (self-preservation) is scarce when you don't give a crap about yourself. So, yay. This post took a depressing turn, but you know what? i'm alright with that. Looking forward to what i find next.

Until the next bulletin, please enjoy this insanely catchy 'Italian' madness:

(follow-up links to unravel this mysterious goodness can be found here, here, and here. Now let's hope you don't wake up with this song running through your head the next morning, like i did.)