Friday, July 1, 2011

Mid-Year

Well, I for one can't quite believe June is over, since I'm still not sure where May went...

It's been a busy couple of weeks.  I was in SC for a week, so I spent this week regrouping after my visit.

The time just flies.

One of the highlights of my trip occurred at Chuck E. Cheese.  Believe it or not, I had never been there before.

On one of the games where you have to shoot and sink all kinds of battleships, I hit the little speedboat that periodically zooms across the water behind all of the other aircraft carriers and U-boats, leaving a rainbow wash behind it.

When you do, you win in a big way.  Not only do you get 20 tickets (which you can cash in for what looked to me like a glorified package of SweeTarts ), but the seat vibrates (kind of the high point of my day, if somewhat unexpected) and lots of lights and sirens go off.

I was very ambivalent about my accomplishment, though, primarily because of the rainbow left in the little boat's wake.

Given the status of gays in the U.S. military, I couldn't help but think that this seemed somehow very symbolic, in a way that I was not entirely comfortable with.

I mean, you automatically override all other military achievements if you simply blast a zippy little rainbow-trailing speedboat out from behind all of the other large, manly vessels in front of it?

That can't be a coincidence. 

Anyway, I came back to discover that my garden had tripled in size, which is good, but it meant I actually had to install another raised bed to accommodate everything.

And, as is typical, if the plants triple in size, the weeds quadruple, so I'm still trying to catch up with that.

I spent the day making jam and pickles--I'm not finished yet, actually.  I have Frankenstein-fingers from cutting up cherries.  They look a little better now, but for a while there it looked like someone had taken a hammer to each one of my finger-tips.  (I think a couple of people out there would probably like to, but that's neither here nor there.)

My cat has been projectile-vomiting water on occasion for the past few weeks, which certainly keeps things interesting for the both of us.  It seems to startle him almost as much as it does me.

It really isn't attractive.  The only thing you can do is make sure you're not standing in front of him.

Really.  It's just not where you want to be.  Trust me.  For a cute little guy, he's got quite a range and trajectory.

My electric composter is on the fritz, so now I have to mail it back to the good people at Nature Mill.  They sent me a mailing label, which is good, but I still had to get the box (which needs to be huge) and of course, I ran out of packing tape somewhere in the middle of the third seam during the box assembly-process.

I knew I would.  It's a Murphy's law kind of thing. 

I put a large composter outside, since I don't think I'll be getting this electric one back anytime soon.  The outdoor one is designed for something like 100 gallons of compost, which is probably as much as I generate in a decade, but it was the smallest size they had.

Meanwhile, the rain barrels have cut my water bill down to a quarter of what it was last summer.  This is good.  They are all still pretty much full, so that venture has worked out well.

My plan for the next few weeks is just to get cracking on the reading and writing that has been on hold for a while now because of everything going on with my friend and her son.  I'll see what I can accomplish on that front, and try to finish up the NEH grant application I've been working on since March.

And then it'll be time for courses and syllabi.  Yikes.  Don't even go there right now.

Happy 4th, everyone.  Be free.

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