I am a gardening slacker, perpetually vowing to be better this week, tomorrow, next summer. Now that my garden is finally producing produce, this slacking seems unconscionable, perverse even. I feel so guilty seeing my unthinned lettuce, my withered beets, my toppled tomatoes, and my weedy cucumbers. And still, my plants are troopers, providing Curtis and me with delicious dinners and snacks, forgiving me for my neglect. Is there anything more satisfying than walking into your yard and harvesting food? Dinner? I honestly don’t think so.
This was just the beginning!
I took this picture a few days ago, and there has been so much since that day. Too bad Curtis doesn’t like cucumbers — I have to eat at least two lemon cucumbers a day to keep up with my one plant. I have a hard life.
I do, however, feel like I am running out of zucchini ideas. Which, I mean, is fine. Zucchini sauteed with garlic is pretty unbeatable. Anybody got any new ideas for it? Tonight I sauteed it in a little butter with smoky paprika, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and lots of fresh basil. Delicious with my $4.99 Trader Joe’s sauvignon blanc.
Since it is the first spring at my wonderful little house, I am getting to discover all sorts of fun plants growing in my yard — daffodils, flowering quince, what I think are going to be bluebells, what I know are going to be tulips, and best of all, daphne. It is the best smelling flower maybe ever. I cut off just a little bit and put it in a vase (okay, jam jar) and now my whole living room smells beautiful.
Frieda likes the flowers too. Or she just loves novelty water. Either way, she’s cute.
Other resolutions include:
1. Keep my bathroom clean.
2. Keep my laundry off my floor.
3. Keep all the things clean (this one will never happen).
4. Go to the gym enough to make my membership worthwhile.
5. Cook dinner most days.
6. Stop eating fast food. Completely.
7. Grade papers in a timely fashion.
8. Look for jobs and don’t be a wuss about it.
9. Go through all food magazines and copy down appealing recipes. Discard magazines.
10. Organize my craft stuff so I can keep my etsy shop more up-to-date.
11. Do fun things at least once a week.
I would like to write about the Islamic Community Center to be built near Ground Zero, but when I start to try and think about it logically, I can feel my brain gaskets start to overheat and I really want to avoid a headsplosion. So instead, let me tell you about how I went camping, and how much I love camping.
Curtis and I drove up to Mt Hood National Forest on Saturday after we both got done at work. We knew we weren’t going to be able to get the best spot ever, but surely there would be something. Nope. Not a single spot. We had to drive all the way to Kingfisher — the last site before everything turns into weird logging roads to nowhere — and even it was full. Thankfully some people had reserved a site and never shown up so we were able to talk our way into it. Bought a bag of firewood since it took us so long to get up there, stopping at every site along the way, so it was too dark to scrounge for sticks.
I can’t believe how full the campsites were. I always feel kinda white trash for camping on the Clackamas, but apparently there are lots of us. By the way, where do yuppies and hipsters camp? Or do they just backpack?
Anyways, this is a pretty boring topic because literally nothing funny happened. We almost didn’t get a spot but then we did. Camp host Chuck was friendly and actually completely competent at his job, which is a first for me. No sweat lodge or weird overly personal sob stories. The bif was even freshly painted and free of dead bugs. Neat! I really miss being at camp all summer long, so it is good to get back to the forest occasionally and just be amongst the trees.
I didn’t get my drivers license until after I turned 22. In Portland, this actually seems to be not as uncommon as you might think. Excellent public transportation plus bourgeois vaguely environmental sentiment equals lots of late blooming drivers. Every single person I knew in college who didn’t have their license was a Portland native. So when I tell people I didn’t get my license until I was out of college, most people around here don’t bat an eye. Lots of people nod and say “me too.” They say, “I didn’t have a car, so what was the point?” This is when I have to hide my shame because I did have a car; I just didn’t know how to drive it. The reason I did not get my drivers license until I was 22 and one quarter years old is I did not know how to drive. Lots of people don’t know that.
I’m not so good with the whole transportation thing overall. I have a bicycle. It was my mom’s from when I was a tiny little kid, maybe before I was born, and she never rode it much, and I never rode it except for a couple of times around the subdivision in Wilsonville, so it’s a brand new bike that’s probably about a quarter century old. I am determined to start actually using my bike and giving the car that I have grown addicted to in the last four years a bit of a rest. Here’s the embarrassing part: Just like I was with my car, I barely know how to ride my bike. I mean, I can toodle really slowly around a cul-de-sac, but once there are roads and cars and bike lanes and hand signals and other bikes and pedestrians and hills, oh god the hills, I become somewhat less confident. Also, despite the fact that bike is practically unused, it is old and in not so pristine condition. The brakes are fossilized and the chain is rusty . Since I have no knowledge of bikes beyond those two things, it is quite possible that about a million other things are wrong with it as well. I need to take it into the shop and put myself at their mercy and I cannot tell a lie: this frightens me. That’s another thing about Portland — bike people. I’m going to bring my old dirty, falling apart practically antique bike in there and they are going to laugh me out of the store. It’s going to be like bringing your Packard Bell with Windows 95 into a computer shop. I’m going to go in there, all starry-eyed, and they are going to have to break the news that my bike has a had a very long life and needs to put down.
Or so it goes in my head. Maybe I will wait until tomorrow to call them.
We went to see a sneak preview of the new Will Ferrel movie last night — The Other Guys. Very exciting for me, as I hate paying to see movies. I feel like I go to the regular, non-cheap theater about once a year, twice if it’s a Harry Potter year. Security was obviously intended to be high, but it was mostly a joke. The ushers had night vision equipment. There was a metal detector (which Brandon somehow escaped by asking if “[he] was cool.” Apparently he was indeed.) Guys in suits had handcuffs in their back pockets. I’m not sure where to even put the air quotes in this sentence, but here goes: They were “confiscating” “everyone’s” “cell phones”. All right, cell phones were for real, but the whole thing was so silly, I say more unnecessary air quotes please. There was a guy at the fron of the line asking for people’s phones and almost every single person waltzed past. “What was that sir? Do I have a phone? On my person??? Do you see a cord dangling from my pocket?” It must have been the least tech-savvy crowd I’ve been in since 1996. I didn’t turn in my phone either, not because I was afraid of losing it, but because I was afraid they would laugh at the last remaining clam shell phone in America. They probably would have let me keep it because they felt so sorry for me. Like, how sad it would be if I thought that my little gumball phone could surreptitiously film their big blockbuster movie.
The movie was pretty funny. An excellent free movie. I don’t know, check to see if someone posted it online yet.
Also having to do with Veronica Mars, by way of an incompetent sheriff: Curtis and I just walked over to Fred Meyer, and there was a man being cuffed out front by a sheriff. We giggled about how long it seemed to be taking; there was certainly no resistance from the perp. We got a couple of coffees, picked up a couple of six packs, waited in line and checked out, and when we walked out THEY WERE STILL TRYING TO CUFF HIM.
The man was very patient.
Watching Veronica Mars makes me feel very emotional afterwards. I just feel super loving towards all the people I care about, since you never know when a famous movie star will murder them or when they will be blown up or when they will get sucked into the nefarious world of motorcycle gangs and drug dealing.
Ahem. I just finished Season 2.
I kept a livejournal (shush, it was cool back then) in college, and I did a pretty good job of keeping up with it. Posted every couple of day, at least. I had a lot of things to say, I guess, and a vested interest in procrastinating (ten page papers on gothic* literature will do that to a girl, I suppose). I don’t have quite the motivation anymore. Also, my life isn’t quite as… reportable now. Stability does terrible things to your writing; nobody wonders why all the greats were alcoholics. “Curtis went to bed early for to get up and work at five while I stayed up a little longer to catch just one more episode of Veronica Mars,” is not exactly scintillating stuff. And yet. And yet! I know that writing perpetuates more writing, so write I will. It’s probably, like, good for my brain and stuff. So all my fans — cough, Auntie Molly, cough — can expect another blog post today (like, hopefully a real one) and who knows, maybe tomorrow as well?
*Spell check apparently does not like the word “gothic”.