Sunday, February 2, 2014

Champagne opening

This Photo was taken to commemorate the first time I ever opened a bottle of Champagne ... It was followed shortly afterward by a champagne toast to celebrate the occasion.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The hum of fury

I was hard up for sugar. We’d run out of Halloween candy weeks ago and I had PMS. I thought I was committing a victimless crime. Actually, I didn’t think it was a crime at all. I was just sucking nectar out of the red honey suckle flowers in front of my parents condo. My point of view  wasn’t what mattered though.

The humming bird that was watching me from across the garden had his own perspective. He was being robbed of vital life giving fluids. He flew at me like an angry mobster. Hovering in midair inches from my face he pushed out his chest, cocked his head up and looked at me like “what’s up? Why you messing with my stuff? You wanna fight?”

I did not want to fight. Humming bird beaks look sharp and this guy  meant business. I backed away slowly, my eyes trained on his dagger-like beak. As soon as I felt the front door behind me, I pulled it open ducked inside and slammed it shut behind me.

The next day, my boyfriend texted me saying that the green tea he’d left on his desk at work overnight had turned black. I told him not to drink it. I was pretty sure the humming bird was involved.

 “You should probably keep anything you’re eating or drinking within sight until you’re done with it from now on. I think a small bird with a thirst for vengeance that’s rivaled only by his thirst for nectar tried to poison you. He's going after you to get to me.That’s the only possible explanation for your discolored tea. Either that or it has something to do with oxidation.”

This was getting out of hand. I knew I had to do something to protect the people I cared about. Plus, I was starting to sympathize with the enemy. I remembered reading that humming birds need to eat almost constantly to keep up with their extremely high metabolism. Their wings are more on the level of an SUV than a hybrid in terms of fuel efficiency, so I could see why this lil’ guy wanted to defend his precious food source. There were only so many flowers on that honey suckle bush and one of us needed their sweet nectar more than the other.  

I went to three stores before I found one that carried hummingbird feeders. I figured it'd be about five dollars for the cheap plastic feeder and some nectar. It was closer to fifteen, but I sprung for it anyways. Then, to be sure the little gangster fully understood the significance of my offering, I wrote him a note – on a bright yellow Post-it (because humming birds love bright colors). I explained that I was sorry for taking his food and asked that he please leave the people I care about alone. Then I also asked if he would come along and provide bodyguard service for me at a BBQ I was attending later that week. (You know how carnivores can get towards vegetarians at BBQs).

 I never heard back from him about coming to the BBQ, but the time and money I spent was a small price to pay for peace of mind I felt afterward.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Blasted Canon

                I think everyone can agree that we owe Gutenberg a big baked apple pie for the way he changed world. That movable type printing press of his shaped the modern world more than anything since the advent of language.  So thank god for the Gutmeister because without being able to easily share ideas, technology like electricity, telephones, computers, and internet may have never emerged.

                Something went wrong with printing between 1450 and now though. With the amazing communication devices we have at our finger tips, we should be able to pay homage to the great press that first put ink to paper by printing documents at home, holding our words in our hands and cheering “Guttenberg, you beautiful genius, look at what you helped me create.” Desktop printers seem to be more of an exercise in patience than a celebration of language though.

                 In fairness, home printing is on the least dazzling end of the print technology spectrum. My awe at the way scientists can print living tissue using sugar and 3-d printers is boosted by the fact that I can’t get my copier/scanner/fax thing to print a nine page document in under an hour. It bothers me not just that my printer is slow, but it’s flagrantly slow.

                Yesterday when I tried to scan a contract that I urgently needed to email, the scanner was all : “please wait a while”. WTF? Seriously, scanner YOU are going to tell ME to wait A WHILE? Really?

                The scanner didn’t respond or say anything else for a few minutes, so I started over. I got the same vague message. No progress bar… not even a never ending twirling circle to tell me it’s working on it… Nope, just “please wait a while”. There was no guarantee that the scanner would come through on this job at any point EVER… just… “wait”. That’s all I could do.

                Eventually it scanned my document, but this was only one of many disappointing exchanges I have had with my desktop printer. In the few months that I've owned it, I've probably wasted an entire tree worth of paper on pages that half printed before my printer gave up. I had to go to my writing workshop empty handed a couple weeks ago because allowing 90 minutes to print seven copies of my story was apparently not enough time and it randomly starts printing jobs that I've canceled and given up on hours after I told it not to.

                 I feel like Gutenberg would be disappointed to know that he pioneered the way for sass mouthed  little machines that work at their leisure if at all when we ask them to help us share our lovely words with one another. However, until I get another job where I have access to a digital printer again, I guess I’m just going to have to put up with getting orders fired at me by a canon… and sadly not even a scary canon that could blow a hole in me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting chummy with a potato chip bag

My dad made me distrust Pringles long ago. Every time I’ve gotten excited by a can of salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion Pringles, it’s blown up in my face – literally. Well I guess technically it’s not an explosion when a large serpentine spring shoots out of a can at your face, but it elicits and equally startling reaction as it would if it had blown up.

It didn’t even occur to me to be afraid of BAGGED potato chips until today though. This afternoon, when I reached into the beguilingly yellow bag of Lays on the kitchen counter, I was disgusted to realize that rather than a friendly staging ground for crisp chips before they embarked on a journey to my mouth, the Lays bag had become a disgusting sack to house old tuna salad before it got thrown out.

 It crossed my mind for a second that maybe it was actually vomit or vomited tuna in the bag and not tuna salad as I’d assumed. Neither of those thoughts was actually more disgusting to me than the original notion of tuna salad… because to me tuna salad is the most vile revolting substance on this earth. Needless to say I got a good ab work out while I dry heaved and obsessively scrubbed my hand over the sink for the next ten minutes until the memory of plunging knuckle deep into a wad of shredded fish and mayonnaise was finally purged from my brain.

I shot my dad an annoyed look when I saw him later. “Eww dad that was a dirty trick with the bag of chips!?! “ He gave me an innocent confused look… as if he had no idea what I was talking about.

“Dad, I’m sorry if I’ve been eating too many of your chips, but I feel like deserve a verbal warning before you booby trap the bag!” 

My dad’s expression was still blank.

“I’ve come to expect a snake in the face when I go for Pringles around here, but I didn’t know I’d get a fist full of fish if I had a hankerin’ for Lays!”

My dad’s face lit up with comprehension “Yuck; you stuck your hand in that? Why were you digging through the trash? “

“I wasn’t digging through the trash! The bag was on the counter.”

“Oh yeah”, My dad laughed “it was on the counter for a while. I got a phone call and then I forgot about it until I got back from my walk. I was throwing out some old tuna from the fridge.”

“Why did you put it in the lays bag? Why not just dump it in the trash?”

He must’ve had a visual of the scenario because he was laughing pretty hard when he explained that he just grabbed the bag out of the top of the trash out of convenience and because he didn’t want to permanently taint our trash can with the smell of fish. Since I’m a survivor, an avid fish smell hater and a conservationist, I was actually quite appeased by my father’s explanation.

I was relieved to hear that my dad hadn’t intentionally tunaed my hand, but I still won’t be eating any chips in this house unless I bring them in myself and keep them hidden in my room.  I know by the time I am done checking bags of chips for tuna, I’m going to remember WHY I have to check for tuna and then I’m pretty sure I’ll be too disgusted to eat anything. This may turn out to be the thing that helps me to lose the three pounds I’ve been trying to shed for the last six months. And if nothing else its certainly a good insurance policy to protect my dad’s snack foods in this house.