June 2007


As much as I love plants, love to see them grow and produce and do all their plant things, I’m not great at actually nurturing them. I’m forgetful, absentminded, have the best of intentions, and the worst of follow-through.

ripening tomatoBecause of this, my tomato plant looks like hell. Because of this, my tomato plant is producing tomatoes.

This is the first tomato it produced, which has been growing slowly for about a month or more now, and in the past week has begun to ripen. It isn’t huge, but it is a tomato, and (despite myself) I’m growing it on my patio!

There are two more tomatoes on the plant, one really tiny, one slightly larger. They both appeared after a particularly bad me-induced droop. I heard recently that tomato plants and pepper plants need exactly this kind of abuse to produce fruit.

jalapenos This makes sense, actually. The way plants work, they’re going to put their energy and resources into the best strategy for the current conditions. If times are good, they’ll grow. If times are bad and they are a flowering and/or fruit producing plant, they’ll produce the flowers and fruit in the hopes that the seeds will go forth and prosper, that if times are bad and they don’t survive, their offspring will. That if it is simply the location that is bad, their offspring will find more fertile ground in which to grow.

Okay, the plants aren’t thinking these things, but this is how their genes are evolutionarily designed to deal with various environmental conditions.

Regardless, my current success with tomatoes, jalapenos, and a recently forming bell pepper (again, after the severe droop!) pretty much proves the point. Take one forgetful neglectful-to-plants person, set them up with tomatoes and peppers, and you have a match!

green bell pepper

I am an idiot…for many reasons. In regards to certain people, there just is no denying my idiotocrity. When it comes to sleeping, or not (as the case may be), there again, I’m not only an idiot but an immature one. Speaking of immature, there is also the sheer idiot factor in “talking to myself” in the same tone as my mother talked to me when I was a kid, and rebelling against myself just as I rebelled against my mother, when I was a kid.

But no, that’s not what makes me an idiot today!

Today, the magnitude of my idiotness was clear when I walked into the laundry room of my building and thought, upon seeing one of the bikes, “that looks like my bike!”

Um, yeah. It doesn’t just look like my bike.

::sigh::

The really sad but funny part is that today, I have felt quite human, to make a change from the rest of the week! I have felt rested, like my brain was firing on at least half its cylinders. I was reasonably productive at work, not as frustrated (that was yesterday’s theme) as I usually am by things not working properly when expected. (Today things were working properly when not expected, to make for a change.)

Anyway, I had an idiot moment yesterday too, when I thought, “gee, that looks like a bird in a nest up there!”

bird in nest

Frustration seems to be a theme in my life lately. Frustrated at work, frustrated with people, frustrated in my relationship with sleep (we seem to have broken up), frustrated with my aging computer, frustrated with the fact that the computer I want, which I’m willing to pay a good chunk of change for, is out of stock, has been out of stock for almost a week, and which will be out of stock until at least Tuesday.

I want my computer.

I still love my “old” computer, which is only 2.5 years old, but I’m doing so much more image processing on it than I used to, and it is just having a hard time keeping up.

Plus the hard drive is annoyingly small when you’re processing this many pictures.

For instance, I took 1200 pictures in one day at the sanctuary in Denver. Granted, that was unusual, and I was trying to take a lot of pictures, because … well, there are many reasons.

And that is another frustration, I guess. I have 1200 pictures I want and need to process, and having a new computer would make that less of a hassle.

Alas, I need to find patience despite my frustration. Maybe sleeping would help!

Well, Leanne, you were asking for some pics from the sanctuary, and this is one. Actually, I’ve posted several from the sanctuary, but this is one that is obviously from the sanctuary.

Meet Melvin, the proudest friendliest turkey you can imagine. He loves to strut his stuff for people, just loves the attention! The colors in the wattle change, depending on his mood; they have quite a bit of control over this, as it is a very vascular area. It is velvety soft, as well.

melvin

No, really, I’ve just been a boring blogger, and though my lack of concentration continues, I’m going to blog anyway. Thought the title should come as a warning!

So, to start off my randomness: if you’ve heard that cinnamon is an ant repellent, it is true! Or, at least, so far tonight, it is working. My beloved Tempest is clumsy, and this is as true when she’s eating as when she’s jumping or “weaving” (aka, knocking over everything in her path). So drips and drops of food surround her dish. I have a placemat of sorts for this purpose, but she delicately avoids the placemat in favor of dripping and dropping her bits on the floor.

The ants have discovered this bounty.

At first I would get my mini broom and sweep them up to relocate them outside. This was tiring and annoying. Then I thought, if they make two daily pilgrimages, I can live with that. They did seem to disappear once they had relocated the dribblings, after all. Into my wall, perhaps; I didn’t inquire, since there are some things I figure I’m better off not knowing.

Today, however, Tempest didn’t finish her breakfast. So when I got home from work, her dish was crowded with ants. Freaking out (I don’t want to kill them, but it doesn’t mean I actually enjoy living with them), I hustled the dish outside and relocated the chunks of food and many ants to the grass outside my patio.

Enough is enough! I had heard about the wonders of cinnamon – apparently ants are really not fond of it. So, feeling a bit like I was preparing to make an invocation of sorts, I drew a cinnamon circle around Tempest’s food and dripping area.

So far so good. Cinnamon! Excellent in hot chocolate, oatmeal cookies, pumpkin pie, and surrounding your messy cat’s dish!

I guess that was longer than a snapshot.

heh.

A few months ago the barrista guy, who I really think could potentially be veganizable (and yes, I think this way), mentioned a book that had a big influence on him. “The unbearable lightness of being.” Possibly it was made into a movie? I’m not sure how it could be, having started reading it, but either way, I know I’ve heard the name quite a bit. Oddly he seemed to see a connection to that and a story that was big in the news at the time, about that polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo. Knut, I think his name was. (the cub’s)

Anyway, I’m finding it an interesting read so far. One thought-provoking quote:

Let us therefore agree that the idea of eternal return implies a perspective from which things appear other than as we know them: they appear without the mitigating circumstance of their transitory nature. This mitigating circumstance prevents us from coming to a verdict. For how can we condemn something that is ephemeral, in transit? In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.

The name of the book is explained in a round about way; it apparently comes from a philosophy of Nietzsche, the idea of eternal return. If eternal return doesn’t exist, is just a myth, that changes things. And the title explained:

If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness.

But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid?

The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body. The heaviest of burdens is therefor simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.

Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights, take leave of the earth, and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant.

So there you go. The unbearable lightness of being; the life that is doomed not to repeat, to be therefore insignificant in its freedom from responsibility.

I’ve only just started the book. It will be interesting to see how this is developed.

I thought that would be a short blurb too. Maybe my brain has been tired because I’ve been keeping things in!

I decided last night that I would try to go to sleep early. Meaning at 11, getting a potential whopping 6.5 hours of sleep instead of my normal 4-5. What an exhausting attempt. First of all, I couldn’t get to sleep, a rare occurrence for me. Then I had some odd dreams, and I think I woke up before my alarm, which made me quite cranky. Finally my alarm went off, and I stumbled out of bed, exhausted. I think 4-5 hours of sleep is a lot more restful.

pps view

Sometimes therapy seems like magic. On my way to my session on Friday I was thinking about how I needed to clean, since a friend was coming in town for the weekend, and that I hated the way I procrastinated so much, which makes having to clean (or do whatever I’ve been putting off) at the last minute become a stressful chore. I’ve tried to change this behavior, but I’ve never succeeded and I generally feel like it is just part of my personality, defect that it is.

I didn’t intend to talk about it with my therapist, because it doesn’t feel like something that is on quite the same level as what I need to straighten out in my head. Yet somehow we ended up talking about it! And magically when I got home, I started cleaning with little fuss, and had everything done that I wanted to get done, and then some, by the time my friend showed up. Weird.

Hopefully it won’t be a one time thing. Hopefully my therapist pointing out one very simple thing has changed my internal dialog.

Therapy is such an interesting experience. I could never have predicted how much it is helping me, or in what way.

And it is sort of scary to think how my internal struggles have probably been impacting people all these years, and only now can I see that, now that things are changing. I just got off the phone with my mom, and she said as we were hanging up “it was really nice talking to you,” which isn’t such an unusual thing for my mom (forgiving woman that she is) to say, but the genunine pleasure behind it makes me think I probably owe her and my dad some apologies for being the difficult and prickly person I’ve been. I can do better, but I am only realizing that now.

Better late than never.

manet painting

My cat hates storms, but I love them. Poor thing, it is stormy right now and she’s hiding in a box. Storms are the only time she’s not comforted by being near me. Which isn’t to say it doesn’t help, but it isn’t enough; she always feels the need to be on the ground in some dark corner. So tonight I pulled out a box I’d just gotten in the mail, put a blanket in it, put her on top of the blanket, closed it mostly up, and have it near me. We’re both happy enough with that, I guess.

rain on the window

The tub spout has been vanquished!

raining shower

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