Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Worth at least a thousand words

This may be the most hilarious photo ever taken of my dog:

I have no earthly idea why he found that giant juicy steak bone so alarming.

I added this and about two dozen more to Indy's Flickr set, if you feel your life has been lacking in cute lately.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who wouldn't want a never-ending supply of Reese's Cups?

When I was a kid, I had what I guess you could call a rich inner life. I made up stories and scenarios in my head, pretty much all the time. There were scenes and dialogues and crazy adventures. Sometimes I was myself, but I was usually a character. This was in addition to playing pretend with my friends and cousins. Even when they weren't around, I was making stuff up. I did it at home, at school, even (maybe especially) at church.

I would also come up with imaginary scenarios about my house or school. I never pretended that I was a princess whose real family would come looking for her. Instead, I imagined secret passageways and hidden rooms. Once I concocted an underground room that extended from my basement bedroom under the neighbor's driveway, and decided it was full of snacks. Rows upon rows of candy bars and cookies and all the stuff I usually had to save up my allowance to buy. What? I was eleven! Even as an adult, I daydream sometimes about finding secrets. When we moved into our house, I was mightily disappointed that our attic contained only some crusty linoleum scraps and a dusty artificial Christmas tree.

Looking back, I have to wonder if that kind of imaginary exercise prepared me to be a writer. My process for writing fiction in high school and college wasn't all that different from the play-pretend I used to do as a kid, really. To my chagrin, I don't really write fiction anymore. Maybe I should start by imagining some secret tunnels or something?

How about you guys? Did you have any favorite for-pretend things when you were little? (Or not so little)

Reading:  Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Playing:  Only by the Night by Kings of Leon

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not to be read alone, or in the dark

SpoutBlog (found via Pajiba) posted a great list of the 10 creepiest kids' movies, and it inspired me to dust off an old draft I had sitting around on a similar topic.

I haven't seen all of the movies chosen for SpoutBlog's list, but I did see and agree with the inclusion of Something Wicked This Way Comes (Have you seen it? It is, at times, HOLY SHIT scary, as is a movie that is for some reason forever associated with it in my memory, The Watcher in the Woods.), The Witches, and The Peanut Butter Solution. I probably would agree with the Care Bear movie if I could remember it. I didn't find the Tim Burton Wonka creepy so much as annoying. My only major disagreement came with the inclusion of The Dark Crystal, but only because the author said my beloved Landstriders were the creepiest part. Let's compare, shall we?

Landstriders (ugly but cute, in a weird otter / walrus sort of way):

Podling slaves / Skeksis:

And finally, Aughra:

Now, I love Aughra (even though this must be an out-take, because she sounds like Yoda, not Aughra), but dude, come on. She can remove her eyeball. How is this less creepy than a Landstrider?

That said, even though I adore it, The Dark Crystal definitely makes the list of Movies That I Loved as a Child, Which Scare the Bejesus Out of Me as an Adult.


The Secret of NIMH
(particularly the owl that Mrs. Frisby goes to see)

(I can't embed, but here's a video. The owl appears at the 5:50 mark.)

The Dark Crystal
Haggard, the Red Bull, Mommy Fortuna, the freaking harpy? All pretty creepy, but somehow the talking skeleton is the worst. I used to think he was hilarious when I was little. Now he creeps me the hell out. Just thinking about how he screams "Unicorn" is giving me the heebs.

Rankin / Bass's 1987 Wind in the Willows
As creeped out as I am by the scenes of Moley in the Wild Wood and the stoats overrunning Toad Hall, for some reason it's the scene of Badger talking about Pan that makes the hair on my arms stand up. I can't find clips or photos for any of these, unfortunately.

The Neverending Story
The loss of Artax in the swamp is horrible, and the Nothing is scary, but the talking wolf thing is first-rate freakout material:

The Watcher in the Woods

Really, looking back over these, it's amazing all people who grew up in the 80s aren't in therapy. The movies back then were scary as hell!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dinner from the garden

lettuce (obviously)

snap peas

added store-bought cucumber (mine's still just leaves), cheese, hard-boiled eggs, croutons, and fake bacon (fakon?)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Third Thursday Lolkitters

View the collected Third Thursday lolkitters on Flickr.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A message from the Garden Dog

"Hi, everybody -- if you have a minute you should go look at the garden blog today. There are new pictures of the plants, and a post about the strawberries we planted. Supervising is the hardest job, so I think I deserve most of the credit. Thanks for reading!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Up next:  rivers of blood

Most of the semi-ancient guards in the building where I work will automatically turn on the television in the break room as soon as they come in to eat lunch. Today, because of the digital conversion, when the TV was turned on, it was showing a Spanish-language infomercial about digital converter boxes. The guard didn't really notice, so when another staff member came in, he tried flipping through the channels. Inexplicably, we had one channel left. It was the CW, home of The Tyra Banks Show.

Yes, our non-converted TV is apparently still beaming in Tyra. It's safe to assume this is a pretty definite first sign of impending Apocalypse, right?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I have seen things that you will never see

Every year as the days get long and temperatures rise, I wait for the return of the fireflies. I have lots of memories of summers running wild with my cousins in backyards and side streets, and almost all of them involve fireflies at some point. But my favorite firefly memory is from much later, the summer before my senior year in high school.

I spent two weeks at Girl Scout camp that summer. The session I went to was based around a backpacking theme, so we spent the first week learning about backpacking and practicing walking up and down horrible hills with heavier and heavier packs. During the second week, we spent four days out backpacking. We ate rehydrated meals and pumped water out of streams with a purifier and peed in the woods and all. It was fun, and it was the first time other than in Taekwondo class that I'd had the experience of pushing my body past what I thought it was capable of, and learning what I could really do. As a 17-year-old, I found it very empowering.

We finished the trek in the afternoon on the fourth day and took showers and camped at the trailhead campground, planning to head back to Scout camp the next morning. We were set up in a large, flat field, perhaps the size of a football field. We put up our tents along the fenceline on one side of the field, facing a line of tall pines trees on the other side. As we lay down to sleep, the fireflies arrived. There must have been thousands of them. Perhaps even tens of thousands. As they flickered and flashed, the pine trees lit up as though they'd been wrapped in twinkling Christmas lights. I wanted to lie awake all night and watch them. I would give a lot to have that memory available on some kind of mental YouTube, safe forever for me to watch whenever I want, for the rest of my life. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Reading:  Black by Ted Dekker

Playing:  the Garden State soundtrack and my new blog playlist over there in the sidebar

Photo Friday

View the entire Photo Friday collection on Flickr.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Let me count the ways

It sometimes seems trendy to bitch about one's significant other, and I am the first person to admit that sometimes you just need to vent, but today I feel like I need to sing my husband's praises a little bit.

On Saturday, he got up and took the dog and went out for donuts while I lazed in bed for an extra half-hour. Then, he came out to the garden to help me with the pain-in-the-ass fences for the climbing peas, even though it was hot and the garden is my pet project. (garden photos here, if you're interested)

On Sunday, he went with me to get some freecycle stuff on less than five minutes' notice. Even though it was even hotter, he mowed the front and back yards, and watered the garden for me. While I was in the air conditioning washing the dishes, he took the dog out back and gave him a bath. He went with me to the grocery and to Rural King to get topsoil and a hose reel, and suggested that we make a side trip so that Indy could come along.

And tonight he and BoMB grilled yet another ridiculously delicious dinner on our little backyard grill.

Each item in itself is kind of inconsequential, but I think most people will agree that all together, they make for some severe kickassery.

Reading:  Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Playing:  Play by Moby

Friday, June 05, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Phoning it in

I had grand plans to write something fancy here tonight, but then we spent almost an hour after dinner trying to buy cat litter and a birthday present for my dad. We went to three stores, one in a different town, and came home empty handed. We watched the Will Ferrell / Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild special to soothe our wounded pride, and by the time that was over it was bedtime.

So...here are five things that have made me happy lately:

1. Today I was driving home and ended up behind a truck. Inside the truck was a big mutt dog, mostly German Shepherd colored, but with floppy ears. He kept sticking his head out the window and letting the wind blow his ears straight up, then ducking back into the truck for a few seconds, and then popping his head back out. I couldn't help but grin.

2. My officemate and I had a long discussion about movies with kickass endings today, and it made me remember how much I love The Usual Suspects. Need to watch that again soon.

3. MB and I went out for dinner at a sit-down restaurant tonight for the first time in...a long-ass time. It was really nice, and the food was delicious.

4. Speaking of my dad, he's been looking at options for part-time jobs since he's retiring in October. For one of the jobs he applied for, he needed an email address. My parents do not have internet at home, and have really hardly used the internet at all even outside the house. My dad has been known to call me to ask if "when I get some time" I can look up directions to this place or that. And he's always amazed when I have an answer for him before the phonecall even ends. Dad is unaware of the power of Google.

One day recently, he called and left me a voicemail with his address, and the next day the bibliophile told me she'd seen him at the library where she works. "Apparently your sister has the job of teaching your dad to use email," she said, in the tone of one who knows what it's like to deal with an internetally unsavvy parental unit. Dad seemed quite pleased to have an email address, though, so I sent him some photos from the turtle rescue. I figured that was a pretty good way to welcome him to the neighborhood.

5. And here's a song that I had forgotten about, but which rocks.