Monday, December 1, 2008

Pusher strikes again

Okay, I've been accused on more than one occasion of being ... how shall one put it? ... just the slightest bit evangelical about various things non-religious? So here I go again.

The movie Persepolis? Watch it. OMG, watch it. (Yeah, I said OMG. You wanna make somethin' of it?)

In other news, we now have a tiled shower surround, thanks to Thanksgiving weekend. And we actually got Thanksgiving fare and a healthy dose of family, thanks to Aunt Temp and relations. (Many thanks, in keeping with the season, to Newt for the lovely invitation and hospitality and delicious, delicious leftovers. The experimental stuffing was grand.)

I finished NaNoWriMo at about 9:59 p.m. yesterday (hooray for November ending on a long weekend!), and truth be told I'm beginning to wonder whether I'll go through it again next year. I've said over and again that I'm not a writer, and that continues to be true. I don't have that story in me that needs telling. Every year I just make up a bunch of crap and keep going until either I hit 50k or November comes to an end. It's fun, but.... Oh hell. I'll probably just as gung-ho next November, who am I trying to kid?

The job is eating my brain. I used to be really good about leaving work at work, but I'm so pleased with the new job that I find it creeping into my dreams. Possibly because we had a huge side project all of last month, so there has been zero down-time. And this week I'm on my own 3 of 5 days doing a job that really requires two people. I have been assured that it will calm down next week. I look forward to that.

That's about it for my life of late. I do miss Teh Internets. *sigh*

Monday, November 10, 2008 had good cupholders

As of Saturday morning, Puck and I officially became a one-car household. The Neon has been donated. Buh-bye, good riddance. I keep expecting to freak out over the fact that I don't have a car, but it hasn't happened yet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

File under "Every Vote Counts, Bitches"

Final tally:

Norm Quimby Coleman — 1,211,437
Al Franken — 1,211,092

That would be a difference of 345 votes. Hello, recount.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

*cries a little*

I'm just so very happy right now.

I Voted


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I love my new job

Not just because I share an office — like a real one, with walls and doors and a whole wall of gorgeous, ceiling-high windows — but that's what keeps popping up every time I think about it. An office. For the copy editors. Dude. Nobody gives copy editors offices in this biz!

Commuting by bus also rules, including my morning sprint through the skyway with Puck. (He doesn't consider it a sprint, but my cardiovascular system would beg to differ.)

This is the first real down-time I've had, but I'm enjoying being busy after the long, long dry spell at the other job. I think the best part about being here though (office aside — oh, and did I mention one of my walls is purple?), is that everyone else seems happy to be here too. It's a really positive vibe. People like it here. Takes some getting used to, but it's neat.

I'm feeling very, very lucky.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New job changes

I've started clearing out my cube at work. Not much to do there, really. I haven't accumulated much even though I've been here eight years.

Found the place where I'm going to donate my car. Since Puck and I will both be taking the bus to work now, we're going to try being a one-car household for a while.

Still need to do some serious clothes-shopping. Yuck.

People keep coming by to talk to me, which is kinda weird.

But yay — in just over an hour, I'm outta here for the weekend and we're going to visit Ms. Huis & Mr. Kluges! Hooray!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I win!

Apparently all that was needed was for me to yell in my blog about how the new company had to hire me. 'Cuz they just did. YAY!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

...yet I don't use my Twitter account

Not a fan of Starbucks coffee, but their pumpkin lattes are infinitely superior to all other pumpkin lattes and may be a tool of the devil.

The lake in early October with almost no other tourists is a wonderful thing.

Dear other company: HIRE ME ALREADY! SHEESH!

When am I going to get around to planting the nearly 200 bulbs I've purchased? And where? Eep.

Shut up, Sarah Palin.

Fire and melty metal this weekend! Crazy yay!

How long will it be before I can walk through the grocery store without sniffling every time I pass Newman's Own products?

Dear self: You don't actually hibernate and you live in controlled environments. Stop trying to store up winter fat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

pssst, AKJ!

Over at Tomato Nation, Sars has some choice words for your celebrity nemesis. Enjoy!

(Yes, I am a blog-posting mofo today.)


I was just flipping through my M-W 11C and the page header "die on the vine" caught my eye, so I dropped to the bottom right of the page wasn't there. So I figured there was a layout error and turned the page, but it wasn't on the next page either. Missing definition, and you wouldn't know it except that at one point of the book's production, it was the last definition on the page so it ended up on the page header.

Anytime I find a copy editing error in a dictionary I feel two things: surprise that anything made it through what has to be among the most rigorous editing processes anywhere, and awe for dictionary copy editors. I mean, can you imagine? Editing a dictionary? Dude.

I think that was part of what was weird for me in The Professor and the Madman: The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. It had this story that involved murder, insanity, genius, self-mutilation, all this drama, and none of it stood up, for me, against the story of how they put that book together. Just amazing.

Is there such a thing as dictionary appreciation day?


Who all is doing NaNoWriMo this year? Temp, Puck and I are in, and I know the Dude was talking about it. Are any participants interested in the weekend at the HoDo?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I feel...dirty

I don't support Paulson's bailout plan,

Crazy-ass Michelle Bachmann doesn't support Paulson's bailout plan.

...I don't like agreeing with crazy-ass Michelle Bachmann. Ew.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What I learned today

When a recipe calls for "swede," they mean rutabaga.

Friday, August 29, 2008


The Dark Knight = totally worth seeing in IMAX.

So much love for, like, everyone in that cast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More birthdays!

Happy birthday, Syl! I hope there was cake.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

World's Biggest Dumbass

So last night we're driving up north, and Puck realizes he didn't bring the bow saw he was going to use to cut a stump out from the lake where my folks dock their boat. So we stop at Fleet Farm in Brainerd. I go to get out of the car, and ... I don't have my purse. Sonofabeep. No money, no credit cards, no i.d.

Then we get up to the trailer, and I eventually realize that (you're not even going to believe this) I also don't have my whole fucking suitcase.

Yeah. I don't even know quite how I managed that little bit of brilliance, but there it is. No purse, no money, no CLOTHES. For a week. So ... I'm back home at the moment. Waiting for my e-mail program to cooperate and open up so I can send myself my resume to work on this week 'cuz Friday I found out about an opening I want to pursue (wish me luck!). I don't think I'll be mentioning this little incident at the interview if I get one...

Anyone got a spare brain? Mine is apparently useless.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Leaving for Week of Solitude tonight! YAY!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Happy birthday to Veggie! I hope it's a splendid one.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wrong again

You know, most days I'd swear I don't really take much pride in my job. But apparently I'd be lying through my teeth because being told to proof only for spelling errors and ignore everything else? Really chafes my hide.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A little warning would be nice

Why didn't anyone tell me it was bad covers day at The Current? Ugh. Between the just plain unnecessary Astrid Swan cover of "When You Were Young" and this current hell, Hot Chip doing "Nothing Compares 2 U", I really feel like they've subjected me to a month's worth of mellow piano stylings of otherwise good songs.

Lucky for them, the Paul Westerberg/Decemberists/Arcade Fire/B-52s set earlier in the day means I've already forgiven them.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Belated: The nice way of saying, "Yeah, I'm a fuckup who can't even remember her friends' birthdays."


Question & answer

Q: What's better than the first garden-grown tomato of the season?

A: The first garden-grown tomato of the season a BLT the lake.

Got a last-minute invitation from the folks to join them up north this weekend, so despite all the looming house/yardwork, we jumped at it. Weather was perfect. Dad rented the pontoon so we spent half a day just cruising the lakes. Found wild blueberries in the woods YUM. So, yeah. Life is good.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where are you getting your information?

From a piece I just proofed about stuff to do in China other than the Olympics:

"When viewing the Great Wall it is hard to believe that it was constructed in only 10 years."



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Garden envy

A couple GardenRant bloggers are gearing up for the Buffalo Garden Walk, and I followed a link to images from last year's event. There are some really awesome gardens in there, but I have fallen completely in love with this one.

I mean, yes, clearly this was photographed on an overcast day with everything freshly wet, which is definitely how to show this sort of thing to best advantage, so it probably doesn't look quite this awesome every day, but still.

Anyway, just thought I'd share in hopes that you all might enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Valleyfair Day

It's time again: Saturday, September 20, is the company's annual Valleyfair day, and this year I'm not going anywhere near the Tilt-a-Whirl.

If anyone would like reduced admission to Valleyfair for that day, come with me! Tickets are $16 for adults, $15 for kids, children 2 and younger are free. The water park will not be open.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Damn it, I'm completely hopeless

Happy birthday to NoNick!

Happy birthday to The Sexy Blonde either today or two days from now!

GAW and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad waitress

Much fun was had at GAW. Good friends, good weather, kind and generous hosts, ridiculously good weather, fireworks, yummy food, waterskiing, ski-bobbing, floating around the lake, handmade jewelry, Pamida and Giant Twine Balls. But the part AKJ says I have to write about is the waitress.

Those of you who were at last year's GAW will remember Cafe Persepolis, the surprisingly marvellous Greek/Italian/Persian restaurant in Willmar. (And the adorable owner, whom we wanted to put in our pocket and take home.) AKJ had the inspired idea to return this year, and the food was just as good and the owner just as adorable as we remembered. (Though I'm afraid we freaked the owner out by being inappropriately happy to see him.) But our waitress ... oh, the waitress. The tiny, cute, very teenage waitress whose desperate need of a class in tact kept us well entertained all evening.

After seeming entirely at a loss by our entrance, she suggested a table for us in the mostly empty restaurant, then made us wait until it was cleaned off. No big deal, but our first glimpse at a sort of vacancy we were to become better acquainted with. The rest of the meal went like this:

[I ordered a beer and got carded.]
Me: "Hey, I got carded!"
Clueless Waitress: "I had this friend who was, like, 16? And she looked, like, in her THIRTIES or something. I card everyone. If you don't it's, like, a $700 fine."

Dear Clueless Waitress: Old people will exclaim over being carded. The correct response is to smile or just ignore it. It's like "How are you?"/"Fine" or a comment about the weather. It's a meaningless verbal space-filler. You don't respond by talking about your friend who looked so ancient she could have passed for my age.

[Taking orders: I order the moussaka, AKJ orders the gyros dinner, Suzuri is wavering between the two.]
Suzuri: "Which would you recommend, the moussaka or the gyros dinner?"
CW: [immediately] "Gyro dinner. Don't get the moussaka. It's all fatty [glances over at me] and stuff. It's kinda gross. I don't like it."

Dear CW: This should really go without saying, but don't describe the meal at your restaurant as fatty and gross, especially when talking to someone who has just ordered it.

[After ordering, I scooted off to the restroom. AKJ and Suzuri were discussing whether CW was going to remember that Suzuri had ordered a glass of wine.]
CW: "Your friend just went to the restroom, didn't she?
AKJ: "Yeah."
CW: [stands there aimlessly for a minute] "Um, was there anything else you needed?"
AKJ: "The wine Suzuri ordered?"
[CW goes to get the wine, AKJ and Suzuri wonder why she was asking about my whereabouts, surmise that it's because they're out of the moussaka, lay odds on whether I'll just leave if that's the case...CW returns with Suzuri's wine.]
Suzuri: "So what did you need Pusher for?"
CW: "Oh. I didn't. I needed the bathroom."

[Partway through meal, as we've decimated the pita that was served with appetizers and now need more for AKJ & Suzuri's gyros...]
Suzuri: "We're going to need more pita."

What was funny about that one was the tone she said it in. Sort of a "You totally do after how grotesquely fast you crammed down that first basket."

So, yeah. A little lacking in the social graces, but very amusing for us. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Free plants!

One of my neighbors is giving away her massive flower garden before she and her husband move. I'd stopped to compliment it late last week on my way into work, and she invited me to take whatever I wanted. Cue heart palpitations.

So after spending all day Saturday and a little of Sunday morning putting a significant dent in my weed population and laying mulch, I trundled over there with my wheelbarrow. I took away a white geranium (cranesbill), a hybrid columbine, hens 'n chicks, an entire bag full of creeping sedum, and a few other groundcovers. Two wheelbarrows full of plants, and I only stopped because I wanted to be sure we'd have time to get everything planted right away. She's invited me to come back and take more whenever I want.

In other happy plant-related weekend news, Syl and I went with Kitten and Meimei to the arboretum yesterday. It was marvellous. Why don't I go there more? We wandered through a bunch of the garden collections, then took the 3-mile drive on our way out. We'll have to catch the maze garden next time! I could spend a whole day out there so easily. Syl and I have both fallen in love with smokebush, though now that I'm away from the heady influence of the arboretum, I'm willing to concede that it might be just a bit too flamboyant for my yard. (Syl's, on the other hand...)

Oh, and Syl? Here's that tulip I was telling you that you needed for your Dr. Seuss garden (tulipa acuminata). It's even winter hardy to zone 3!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good Eats

Had my first snap pea from the garden last night. Nummy.

Also related to the title of the post, apparently Alton Brown will be focusing more on sustainability and where our food comes from in his upcoming season. I dig this trend.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends....



Before you faint or anything that I remembered, I'm afraid I need to confess that if it weren't for The Sexy Blonde and her mad "writing things down" skillz, I wouldn't have. I'd've still been floundering around, going, "Um, it's sometime near the cusp of Gemini and Cancer?"

In any case, I hope it's a marvellous one. Wish I were there to lift a beer with you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My dad cracks me up

Okay, first, the reference post.

Right? Okay.

Last weekend the folks drove to Chicago. On the drive down, they hit flood detour traffic. But it wasn't just heavy traffic, it was the kind where you go from freeway speeds to dead stop. Which led to the following exchange:

Mama B: We're not moving at all! What on earth is going on up there?
Dad: Well, that's that. It's the rapture, and we didn't make the cut. I told you to stop sinning.

Pic for Temp

Okay, when you asked for a peony picture, you probably meant a whole bush covered in huge pink flowers, but I'm afraid this is what I have this year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Life is good

I got to meet Sam Brody yesterday, but I forgot to inquire as to why that particular name. He's tiny and wriggly and has very active toes. The Sexy Blonde looks amazing and you'd never guess she gave birth less than a week ago! And J amused us mightily with all sorts of delivery room horror stories. (Or was the "horror" part just me? I'm never sure.)

I carpooled to work today! After putting my name up on the MTC and workplace rideboards years ago (and a few nibbles that fell through), I finally have someone to carpool with. It means I have to get up an hour earlier since this shifts my schedule half an hour earlier and we're a one-bathroom house, but it also means reaching an environmental goal I've been unable to hit for a long time.

The guy I'm carpooling with seems nice enough. Puck was right: the Mama B small-talk gene kicked in right away. We chatted the whole drive in this morning, so I now know the names of his wife and kids, how long he's been married, how he met his wife, where he grew up, where he went to school and what he got his degree in, his religion, how long he was in the Army and how long he was in the Reserves, his views on personal responsibility, how he likes to spend his vacations and at least some of his hobbies. I expect to be out of conversation topics by Thursday.

Puck & I went up to the lake over the weekend, and it was sublime. Too cool for swimming, but perfect for bike rides and walking through the woods and eating outside. Had a couple lovely trips out in the canoe, though it was a bit windy the first time, which meant I actually had to work a little. A big snapping turtle swam underwater right next to the canoe, and that was really cool to see. They're so prehistoric looking. And the garden up there looks great! I took pictures that I'll post later.

Speaking of gardens, I've commited a cardinal gardening sin. I'm pruning the lilac in the front yard to try to keep it small and bush-shaped instead of 20 feet tall with blooms only up at the top where I can't stick my face in them as I'm mowing around it. The Internet tells me that the way to accomplish this is to take out 1/3 of the oldest canes at the ground each year for three years. So Friday I went in and hacked out a couple big old canes, and then stepped back, and freaked out. It looks awful! It's got big holes in it! It looks diseased, ugly, lopsided, mangy! And that's when I sinned: I panicked and quit. I couldn't make myself pick up the lopper and get back in there. Temp, I think I need your dad to kick some sense into me, though he'd probably just wonder why the hell I was pruning a lilac in the first place. I can't stop thinking, "I've made a horrible mistake, and I'm only going to make it worse." Eep.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

As promised

Mixologist's bleeding heart. So many blooms!

And yes, Temp, I would be happy to snap some peony pics when/if they bloom. If mine don't (they were *really* stressed last year by being moved...) I'll just stalk someone else's in the neighborhood.

Garden babble. Lots of garden babble.

Spring has been a long time in coming, but the balloon flowers are coming up, so I think it's fair to take stock here and say anything in my garden that still looks dead is probably dead.

1. My zone 5 experiment. Yes, one of the cherry trees (the one that gets 10+ hours of sun a day) is alive and leafy. It's the one that gave me cherry blossoms earlier and made the whole attempt worthwhile. Unfortunately, it won't ever do anything without a cross-pollinator...which brings us to the other cherry tree. It lived through the winter. It started to bud at almost the same time as the first one, but it never took off, and the cold spring zapped the buds. It's still alive in there, but without leaves for energy, it's only a matter of time. The peach tree is also still alive, but struggling mightily. The higher-up leaves are shriveling, and it was sending up panic suckers like mad. Considering this was all just an experiment anyway, I think they're all going to come out to make way for a different plan. (The live cherry can stick around until I get to that part of the yard, but eventually it'll go.)
2. The Minnetonka rhododendron. This one really makes me sad. It was such a beautiful shrub, and I was so excited when Puck found it for me at the Plant Sale. I actually think I killed this one last summer — it wasn't getting enough water from rain because of the neighbor's tree, and I didn't realize it until it got really wilty. (That whole "Hey, the sun is at an angle but rain comes straight down, so sunny /= no canopy" revelation...) I watered it diligently after that, but apparently it was too late. The other possibility is that this was a variety of rhodie that really dislikes sun. I might try "White Lights" at some time, but otherwise it looks like it's good ol' PJM for me.
3. Bugleweed. This one has Puck and me at something of a loss. Everyone talks about what a splendid, easy (even potentially invasive) groundcover bugleweed is, and we just can't keep it alive. A couple of the Ajuga 'chocolate chip' we put in have come back, but they're smaller every year, dwindling down to nothing. Care tips say anything from full sun to full shade, drought-tolerant, acid to slightly alkaline soil, can be pruned with a lawnmower. And yet we can't grow it. Boo.

1. Geranium. How much do I love this plant? Various garden blogs tell me it's dull and unfashionable, but I don't care. I want about 50 of these bastards. Aside: Geranium is the Latin for this plant, common name 'cranesbill', but the plant we all think of as a geranium (those red things) is the common name for pelargoniums. Between that and the fact that daylilies aren't lilies, plant language has a lot to answer for.
2. Polygonatum (Solomon's Seal). It's spreading politely but noticeably each year and makes me happy.
3. The fenceline shrubs (lilac, viburnum, variegated dogwood) have grown fast the past couple years, making our backyard feel more enclosed, private and cozy.
4. The physocarpus (ninebark) 'summer wine' is doing really well and developing some pretty, arched branches.
5. Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' — the grass clump has easily tripled in size from when we planted it last year. I need more ornamental grasses.
6. Puck's clematis! Finally! This poor thing. It's been barely surviving year after year, the victim of rodents, the lawnmower, frequent moves, too much sun, you name it. But it seems to love its new home on the north fence and is already as tall as it's ever been.
7. Blueberries. Despite being eaten to the ground by rodents over the winter, all three blueberry plants are making a surging comeback. Must protect them next winter....

Of course, anything that lives is a success in my world. Oh, and Mixologist? Your bleeding heart is gorgeous again this year. It's, like, 3' tall and 4'wide. I'll post a picture soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Explain this please

Okay, so I'm in my car listening to Radio K on the AM dial. There's faint static, but nothing too disturbing. Then I accelerate, and the static gets way worse. Take my foot off the pedal, and it goes back down to normal. Like, every time. I even tried little quick step/release bursts on the gas pedal, and the static went sshBZZZZshshhhhhhhhBZZZZZZZZZZshhBZZshshhhhBZZZZ ... well, you get the idea.

Aside from the fact that I find this tremendously, inexplicably entertaining, can anyone explain to me why this happens or am I going to have to call Click & Clack?

(Edited to remove that last option so y'all will answer my question!)

Monday, May 19, 2008


I hope to post pictures again in August or thereabouts when it's all grown in and pretty, but here's the newly laid patio.

First, the clever ramp Puck set up to get the gravel underlayment from the driveway (where it was delivered) down to the patio base.

Here it is in-process, with most of the stones dry-laid.

And here's the finished view from above. That big pile of really nice garden dirt that we got excavating for the base is ready anytime you are, Syl! Also, this view really points out how crappy the back walk looks, but that will have to wait until another year.


We have a patio under the arbor. Flagstone is heavy. And pretty. And did I mention heavy? Advil is my friend. Now I need to buy some screening plants, and the grape vines have to grow so we have some privacy and shade. And we need patio furniture. Oh, yeah, I'm doing great at this saving up for a new car thing. Right.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yeah, I'm never on time

Happy belated mother's day to all the terrific moms I know!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Okay, I've signed up for Twitter as cheese_pusher. I pretty much hate it so far, as it has been slow, unresponsive, and tells me I'm only following one person despite the fact that I just wasted 25 minutes signing up to follow three (see "slow, unresponsive").

Here's hoping actually using the thing is better than the setup, or this will be a short-lived experiment.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Plant Sale List! Arbor!

We have an arbor! Many thanks to Jaysan for coming over Saturday and helping with all the lifting, ladder-climbing, and use of power tools. Now we just need to excavate and build the patio under it, but that's not going to happen for a while.

I also have less lawn! Thanks to Suzuri, too, for coming over Sunday and playing in the dirt with me. (By "playing in the dirt", I mean the rather grueling process of sod removal.) Other than the little triangle of grass I was too tuckered to tackle, I'm all ready to piss off the neighbors by growing ugly tomato vines right out in the front yard.

Tomatoes that I will purchase at Saturday's PLANT SALE! The plant list is finally, finally up here. (Link to pdf download) Who all is in for the plant sale this year?

Speaking of the plant sale, I might need a ride. Still haven't heard from the garage as to whether my car will be drivable or not, though they did tell me they haven't found any signs of another massive leak so it might just be burning oil, in which case I could limp it along for a while. *crosses fingers and tells Environmentalist Guilt to shut the hell up* But if not, Puck is going to take the Subaru to southern Wisconsin this weekend so I'll need some kind soul to cart me to the plant sale and cart back me and my dozen tomato plants.

In yet more gardening news, I'm irrationally happy to report that I have cherry blossoms! One of the twigs I planted last year popped out five tiny, delicate flowers yesterday. Yay.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To-do list

So much to do in the yard, so little time when it's not raining (or snowing)...

By Sunday:
1. Level garden and plant peas. —Peas planted, garden not level
2. Move the rest of the sage & chives out of the herb garden. —DONE!
3. Build (or at least start building) arbor. —DONE!

Sooner would be better than later:
4. Excavate under arbor. —DONE!
5. Remove sod from front for tomato bed. —DONE!
6. Put down corn gluten. —DONE!
7. Attack early weeds.
8. Re-edge beds and get the grass out.
9. Make bigger rabbit fences for the fruit trees. —DONE!
10. Plant veggie garden. —Partly done

Can wait a few weeks:
11. Re-paint steps; scrape and paint rest of fence by driveway.
12. Send in acid soil for testing.
13. Lay patio under arbor. —DONE!
14. Bring in loads of mulch for garden beds and to cover bare dirt in front yard.
15. Tile front steps.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Failure to execute plan

So the vegetable garden is smaller this year due to the arbor construction. No big, the tomatoes are moving up front anyway. Figured I'd throw in some peas and more beans than we'll manage to eat anyway and still have space left over.

So why, why, why did I also purchase seed for a bunch of big sprawling vine things that could use up three times as much space as I have?

Anyone want to grow pie pumpkins, butternut squash, zucchini and/or muskmelon this year? I'll have extra seeds...

Monday, April 21, 2008

I was wrong

But that's okay, I'm very used to it. This particular instance is from Landscapalooza: Veggie, I told you Bachman's doesn't carry the corn gluten? They totally do. I just bought a 20-lb bag of it. They confused me by labeling it a Weed & Feed because apparently it counts as a dose of nitrogen too.

Puck & I got the footers for the grape arbor dug out and poured this weekend. Now we just need to excavate, lay gravel, sand & flagstone, and build the actual structure. I need a nap. Also? I am almost but not quite strong enough to adequately help man a 2-person earth auger. My shoulders hurt.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Earlier this week when Syl came over and saved my butt from the IRS (thanks Syl! You're my hero!), we tossed around the idea of April 19 for Landscapalooza. Does that work for everyone who's interested? If not, how about the 20th? The Plant Sale list should be out by then, and I'm going to be in Chicago the weekend of the 26th.

Meanwhile, I've started spring yard cleanup, and I'm bracing myself for the 4-6" of snow that's possible tonight. I hope that's the last of it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Change is scary

We Can Ride started up again this week. Because of a glut of Monday volunteers, I was moved to Tuesdays.


Tuesdays are one of the days when the kids from the Hennepin Co. Home School come and help out. This means extra people — a couple counselors, one or two security guys, and a handful (maybe six?) of "observer" kids who will rotate in as they complete certification. And there's an instructor-in-training shadowing the instructor. And three barn aides. Also on Tuesdays, none of the horses are used in both sessions. So instead of 8 or 9 horses, there are 12. (Granted, still only 6 in the ring at a time.) And 12 full sets of tack to deal with before and after.

Monday nights, if you include the riders, parents, instructors and volunteers, there were about 35 people in the barn, and that always felt hectic and crowded. Tuesday nights? Closer to 50.

Also, I'm now a sidewalker instead of a horse leader. My first kid is really young, and pretty severely physically disabled. As in, at this point not really able to balance on the horse without assistance, and mostly unable to hang on to anything.

It's a little scary. I'm still really excited to be doing this, don't get me wrong. It's just crowded, chaotic and overwhelming. I'm being pushed outside my comfort zone. I recognize that that's probably a good thing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New faces

I got to go meet Sunshine's new baby girl over my lunch hour today, and I am happy to report that unlike her older brother, SHE SLEEPS!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I went to Arby's today for the first time in a really long time. And you know what they had? Fountain Diet Dr. Pepper. Win!

It tastes fruitier than DDP in a can, and by comparison, the stuff in a can has a sort of ashy flavor. I approve.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Okay, I'm inspired

This was a really good speech. Can he be president now please?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Life is good!

Just in case it wasn't enough awesome that yesterday I got to work from home, got very little work and ended up spending the day playing Rock Band and watching Jeeves & Wooster, and Puck & I are taking tomorrow off to celebrate my birthday and probably go cross-country skiing, then driving down to Temp's family farm to spend the weekend surrounded by many of my favorite people, drinking lots of beer and playing games and eating good food, more awesomeness was just added to the pile.

One of my coworkers just gave me tickets to the opera The Fortunes of King Croesus for tonight. She got them as a gift and can't go, so she didn't want them to go to waste, so I win! This is apparently the "rich as" Croesus, which is all I know about him, and the opera is in German, which will be a good setup for Bockfest.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy bissextile day!

And not only leap day, but on a Friday — and a payday Friday at that. I don't know the math, but I'm pretty sure this will be the only time in my entire life that I get three paychecks in February.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The rules of blogging

I keep having to remind myself that I don't actually have to have anything interesting to say before I post to the blog. So here you go.

I love spa day. Though I must say, going from spa day to Halo was trippy. I hit this point where adrenaline was trying to get me good and twitchy, but the lingering lassitude of massages and mimosas and cucumbers-on-my-eyelids just wasn't letting it through, and it was a lot like being drugged, which I found deeply funny in that way that drugged/drunk people often do. Suzuri seemed to recover better than I did, and killed me quite handily on several occasions.

Sunday we were supposed to go help Superman & Sunshine with a bathroom project, but that got cancelled. So instead we tackled one of our dead bodies: we pulled down the drop ceiling in the hallway and scraped off the popcorn texture on the drywall behind it. We still need to do some patching and painting, so that'll probably happen this upcoming weekend. I'm trying to decide whether or not the hallway should be a color. Right now our main floor is pretty evenly divided: the living room, kitchen, and addition are shades of white/neutral, while our bathroom, bedroom and office are fairly bold colors (light and plum purple, gray/burgundy, and sage green respectively. Who says there should be a color flow between rooms? Hah!). So does the hall stay in the white camp or join the colorful group of the rooms that branch off of it? We also realized that once we paint the hall, with the exception of the insides of closets, we will have painted every wall in our house.

Did you all see that Stephen Fry is now starting to do podcasts? His first one is about how he severely broke his arm while deep in the jungles of Brazil (and manages to be embarrassed about it).

Friday, February 8, 2008

I suck

So I pretty much oppose the rebate check thing. The economy's in the toilet? Oooh, throw me more bread and I won't care! Boo.

And yet...


I read the article and one of the first things that popped through my mind was, "May? The plant sale is in May!"

Hell. Pass the loaf; the lions are coming up next.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Senator Quimb- ah, Coleman

So I took the Select a Candidate survey on the MPR site for the MN Senate seat currently occupied by Coleman. I wasn't particularly surprised by my results. At least, not until I hit the bottom of the page. Nelson-Pallmeyer, 29; Cerisi, 25; Franken, 22; Cohen (who?), 18; Coleman, 0. Zero? ZERO? I knew I didn't agree with Coleman on much, but...seriously? Heh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why oh why did we have to get an IT client?

"Reoperationalization"? Are you serious with that? *sigh*

Monday, February 4, 2008


Dear Blogger,

Stop sucking! I have cleared my history, emptied my cache, reset my browser, and yet you INSIST on loading up old pages unless I go up into the URL and type a question mark after it. This is a hassle. Knock it off.


Cheese Pusher

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A world of WRONG

Candy corn-flavored Hershey Kisses.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cheese Pusher vs. the Winter Blahs, Rd. 2

Skiing looks rather unlikely this weekend, given yesterday's melt and today's lack of promised snow, so I think instead I shall go to the Como Conservatory and spend some time surrounded by tropical greenery and breathing warm, humid air. The Conservatory in winter, like the Arboretum in late June, is one of those things I always mean to get around to but somehow forget when the season actually arrives.

As always, if anyone would like to join me, you're quite welcome. I'm thinking Saturday late morning-ish.

Cheese Pusher vs. the Winter Blahs, Rd. 2

Skiing looks rather unlikely this weekend, given yesterday's melt and today's lack of promised snow, so I think instead I shall go to the Como Conservatory and spend some time surrounded by tropical greenery and breathing warm, humid air. The Conservatory in winter, like the Arboretum in late June, is one of those things I always mean to get around to but somehow forget when the season actually arrives.

As always, if anyone would like to join me, you're quite welcome. I'm thinking Saturday late morning-ish.

Cheese Pusher vs. the Winter Blahs, Rd. 2

Skiing looks rather unlikely this weekend, given yesterday's melt and today's lack of promised snow, so I think instead I shall go to the Como Conservatory and spend some time surrounded by tropical greenery and breathing warm, humid air. The Conservatory in winter, like the Arboretum in late June, is one of those things I always mean to get around to but somehow forget when the season actually arrives.

As always, if anyone would like to join me, you're quite welcome. I'm thinking Saturday late morning-ish.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Over at The Bus of Love, the All-Knowing Jen mentioned cabin fever. I, too, am a February victim of the winter blahs, and her post served as a reminder. I recently had dinner with the marvellous woman who used to do freelance proofreading here, and she had a little collection of bulbs sprouting on her table. Why don't I???? I'm pretty much opposed to spending the amount Bachman's wants for their "Watch 'em Grow" gardens (not to mention deeply opposed to the twee, dumbed-down name), so this year is no good. But next year I could get some bulbs for indoor forcing. And hey, I have an extra fridge now! The kegerator has plenty of door space for bulbs. There's something about bulbs that gives me a gardening fix that houseplants can't. I don't understand it, but man, I saw those spiky little crocus leaves poking up through the dirt in her pot and it was instant joy.

And, y'know, since you can't buy bulbs cost-effectively in anything less than bulk, I should probably force some for friends, too. Anyone interested? I'm thinking grape hyacinth, dwarf narcissus, and crocus. If I get ambitious and remember to start early, I could even do dwarf iris, but we all know what the odds of that are.

Elsewhere in the land of good intentions and escaping winter lethargy, Puck, being the awesome husband that he is, recently bought me a very early birthday present — my very own elliptical machine! I've had it for over a week and haven't used it yet (I really, really, really do not have the willpower to get up early and exercise...), but that changes tonight. Also, there will be skiing again this weekend — if anyone is interested in joining us, give me a call.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Cult of Eric Bergeson

Curious? Ready to see what all the fuss is about? I just got my Moorhead Community Education book in the mail. Yes, you too could attend the annual gardening seminar! Be tempted by lily bulbs! Laugh til it hurts with Jean Johnson! (She'll teach you how to not fear your garden. It's brilliant.) Enjoy a local lunch (last year there was fresh-made lefse)! Learn all about dirt! Square foot gardening! Containers! Grafting! And, of course, be indoctrinated (or reaffirmed) in the cult of Eric Bergeson. March 29, Moorhead, MN. Info here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Here in my car / I feel safest of all

So I've switched from the car I got from Saff to the car I got from Big A. What the hell, I guess it's a step above the cars I got from my parents, right? I even paid for this one, though I should've paid more. Still, the bartering process was fairly hilarious.

On the test drive:
Me: So, how much do you want for it?
Him: Oh, I dunno. How about X? (X being ridiculously low number)
Me: How about X+.7X?
Him: ...You really suck at haggling.
Me: I know. Seriously, ask The Mixologist about that sometime. It should be an entertaining rant.

We split the difference at X+.35X, which is how haggling usually works, if in the reverse. He was sneaky though, and kept trying to convince me at later meetings that we'd settled on X after all.

So now I own a Dodge Neon, but I'll survive the shame. It's a manual, which is nice. I still love my Civic best though.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Thankfully I didn't get sick until after the annual Iron Bartender event (congratulations, Temp!). Yesterday I felt better, but I probably shouldn't have gone cross-country skiing, no matter how fun it was, because I got home and had no energy at all. Then I slept for 11 hours, spent half of today on the couch, and still have no energy. Sigh.

Still, probably going cross-country skiing again next weekend if there's any snow left.