Sad bike accident

Sorry, but you'll have to turn the volume up really loud to hear this one proper, like:

That's one big sweet potato!

Marsha brought us this sweet potato from down in New Orleans. It's sharing a bowl with an acorn squash from her mother's garden in Wisconsin.

I think they're in love.

The Plague

You might not have noticed, but I have been quite sick these past few days. I think I caught the Plague from Jen over the Internets Tubes. Although, I can't be sure, what with all the things going around. I did read some postings by Richard, as well (also ill recently with unexplained infection), and I ended up taking this picture:

I guess another explanation might be the cheese that I recently added back into my diet. Some people believe that all animal products should be avoided, for optimal health.

Whatever the cause, I'm happy to say that I'm feeling better again. In the future, I will be sure to use proper protection when surfing the Internets.

Out of Place

I have this issue with being out of place in my own life. I don't fit in, somehow. This is most apparent when I am at playgrounds with Zelma, who is 14 months old.

I just don't know what the etiquette is at playgrounds. We go to a playground almost every day. She loves playgrounds. Generally, at a playground, where I go is dictated by where Zelma wants to go- especially since she still has to hold my hand to walk. Zelma likes to walk up close to people and stare at them (or trees, or dogs, but that's not really the problem). I guess the problem is, what do you say to people?

I thought I had it figured out a few weeks ago, when I resolved to just compliment other people's children. Who doesn't mind a compliment to their offspring? Everyone loves their own children (well, at least everyone who takes their kids to playgrounds, I think). The problem then became (and maybe, if you know me a little too well, you'll see where this is going) I can't always think of a compliment for every kid. In fact, I mostly think of insults, or semi-insulting ruminations, like,

"So, you were once this cute, too, eh? It's amazing how time distorts the features, isn't it?"


"What a good little walker your child is! And at such an early age! You know, I've heard that the children who walk before a year have trouble learning to read, later."

And so on. I don't think kind, normal thoughts. I'm not a bad person, really. I just don't fit in. But, I'm not Joseph Biden or anything. I mean, I don't actually say these things out loud (usually). Most often, I just stand there with a slight smile on my face, looking like an idiot, thinking, "compliment, compliment, think of a compliment compliment!" I mean, all the kids are cute, but somehow, "cute kid" just doesn't seem sufficient.

My favorite adults at the playground come in two varieties. My first favorites are the constant talkers. You know her whole life story, as well as that of her child or children, within the time it takes to push your kid on the swing for five minutes. I just love people who talk a lot. I don't have to say anything! It's great.

My second favorite people are the ones who misbehave. Like the two women today who climbed on top of a play structure and drank giant coffees while their one-year-old ran around (future poor reader, I'm sure) and hit toddlers on the head. Another mother, of twins, eyed everyone suspiciously. When the one year old girl came up and bopped Zelma in the head, I figured it was time for Zelma to learn a little reality in the world, anyway. When she ran up and tried to hit her again, I readied myself for a little defense, but she fell just before she got to Zelma. Zelma looked at her on the ground and tilted her head slightly, while the young mother on top of the play structure yelled at her daughter, "Good! You deserved that!" The mother of twins laughed.

People like this make a smiling idiot like me look great.

The Pueblo Series: The Starbuck's where we got married

Yeah, okay, I know what you're thinking. I did not get married in a Starbuck's. I got married in The Center for Inner Peace of Pueblo, Colorado, which was recently torn down, and they built a Starbuck's there. I'm sure there is a lot of symbolism about American values, there, if you care to speculate.

The Pueblo Series: Spaghetti eating requires a bib

At Casa Pueblo, spaghetti eaters of all ages wear bibs. I will refrain from showing pictures of everyone in their bibs and opening it up for comments, but to give you an idea, here am I with my bib; behind me is Zelma with hers.

The Pueblo Series: How to set the table

This was in a basket on a bureau next to the dinette table, in plain view. As you have probably guessed, the table was laid perfectly.

I spent much of my week reading thirty or forty year old magazines. Mumsey has lived in the same house for fifty years, and things collect. They are now in a state of purging and getting rid of things. The old magazines were being read for the last time, presumably. You'd be surprised how many hard liquor ads there were in a typical 1970's Family Circle. I really liked the patterns and room decorating ideas (for the entertainment value, only. For example, there was an article on how to decorate using mattress pads).

I did take an especially easy looking pattern for a whale pillow. I think I'll make it for Zelma for Christmas.

I'll post a picture here when I'm done.

I don't know if the place setting card came from an old magazine, but I'm guessing it did.

The Pueblo Series: Columbus Day Protest

In front of the Pueblo Library, in the middle of the street, stands a statue of Christopher Columbus, which goes largely ignored for 363 days of the year. Columbus Day, however, is the Columbus statue's time to shine. Every year at this time, a protest takes place in front of the statue, presumably mostly by Native Americans who believe that it is stupid to have a holiday celebrating some jerk "discovering" a place where they already lived, and then killing a bunch of people in horrible ways.

I'm totally with them- in spirit. I just drove by the protest, as you can see in the pictures. I'm not completely devoted to the cause. Any day off is good, right? But not to celebrate an asshole. Maybe they could rename it for someone else?

The Pueblo Series: Lake San Isabel

A Fantastic Web Experience

I would just like to take a moment, fellow minions, to direct you to a most excellent site, a web site which covers all of your needs, interests, experiences, and ideas*. This web site is, of course, none other than the Steel Guitar Forum, also known to some as The Pedal Steel Pages. It is so great that it is, indeed, Dear Minions, considered to be a Proper Noun, and should, as such, be Capitalized as all Proper Nouns are. Hats off to you, Steel Guitar Forum a.k.a. The Pedal Steel Pages.

*as long as they have to do with steel guitars or steel guitar related things or off topic ideas that some steel guitar player somewhere cares about.

The Pueblo Series: Mumsey's False Nose Collection

I spent the last week visiting my in-laws in Pueblo, Colorado. Pueblo is a nice place where I lived for five or so years. I have lived away from Pueblo for five or so years, so it was interesting to go back and see it with fresh eyes.

I find my in-laws' habits peculiar, of course, because they aren't my own. Being good-natured souls, they tolerate me blogging about them. I saw this jar in the cupboard and felt compelled to photograph it for the blog. The title expresses my best guess at what it is.

The title also indicates, "series". This makes me feel special, like an artist or something. It's a special way of saying that I took a lot of pictures in Pueblo, and I'm going to share some of them with you for the next five or so days.


I'm taking a blogging break. You'd better do some Yoga (at least ten minutes a day) for the next week, to make up for the feeling of utter relaxation and calm you normally acquire from reading this blog.

This is a video of the Sun Salutation and some other stuff. I generally just watch the video and sit on my butt here. It's quite pretty. Such a feeling of utter relaxation and calm.

The Best Moment of My Day

I went looking for an eight year old who had escaped the classroom some time before. I found him in the bathroom. I saw his sneakers in the stall. He was singing a Strauss waltz, "la la la" style, with some rap beats thrown in, listening to his own voice echo off of those shiny ceramic bathroom walls. It was one of my favorites. I couldn't place it, at first. He was singing it perfectly. He knew it well. It was lovely. I waited a while before calling his name. Just as I suspected he would, he immediately stopped singing when he knew I was there.

Fulfilling My Adolescent Dream

Today, I got to substitute for a librarian! I know, I know. I have all the luck. This was my dream, as a youth. I attempted to volunteer at the Sebastopol Public Library once over the summer in high school, but the head librarian felt that I wasn't "committed enough" for the job. (Since when is donating your time for free not committed enough?) He never even gave me a chance.

But, alas, the tables were turned! Today, it was My Time to Shine!

Here is the special cart of books that I spent five hours re-shelving (picture taken three and a half hours in):

Doing all the library stuff required some librari-itious tools. Here is the biggest pair of scissors, ever:

And a giant pair of scissors just isn't complete without a gigantic tape dispenser:

Hooray! I have now been a librarian for a day.