The Best

The best tool to use for eating a big piece of watermelon is a spork.

Beekeeping Video (Yes, that's us!)

This is the same one I posted to Facebook. Yeah, I smoked the bees too much. They probably thought the hive was on fire, I smoked them so much.

A Note Found on the Floor Today

"Unicorns vs. Zombies: Who would win?"

Which I thought was a funny idea. I didn't know it was a book! And a web site.

A Fictional Account of My Day at Work

"Hello class. It seems one of you has put a truth serum in my coffee today, and I have lost the capability to be diplomatic. Actually, I'm really happy. How are you?"

Class: "Blah blah blah."

Me: "Yeah, whatever. I'm not listening. ♬ I think I'm wonderful."

Class: "Is she singing?" (boys thowing things)

Me: "It's funny how pathetic some of your NBA dreams are. I know that you, Henry, have thrown something across the room at least five times a class period the entire school year, always missing and pretending you weren't aiming for the trash."

Henry: speechless.

Me: "Michael, go to the office."

Michael: "But I didn't do anything!"

Me: "No, but you always do. Why not just skip the preliminaries? You're a bully. Admit it. There comes a time in everyone's life when we need to recognize who we are. Fourteen is as good an age as any. Go on. Get out. I'll inform them to ban you from the end of the year field trip, too, because let's face it: everyone will be happier if you just aren't there."

Dana's head falls on the desk.

Me: "Normally, Dana, I might ask what is wrong, but let's face it: you're possessed by Satan. Or, to be more correct, you are an overly dramatic teenager who constantly pretends to be possessed by Satan, so even if you start foaming at the mouth again today, I'm going to ignore it. There's only so much foaming I can take in a given school year."

George: (tentatively) "Can I ask you a question?"

Me: "You may. You're such a sweetheart, George. I wish I had twenty of you in this class. You're always positive, always do what I ask, and you never seem to notice that everyone thinks you're a geek."

George: "Um... Thanks, but... could I go to the office and get the principal? I think you're going to get fired if you keep teaching this class today on truth serum."

Me: "By all means, George. Tell him to come as soon as possible, before I tell Beatrice how she's probably destined for prison, because everyone in town knows who set that house on fire last Thursday. Of course, if she didn't have an alcoholic abusive mother, she might not do such things... I feel for you really Beatrice, you know? I mean I can relate, because of that time in Chippewa. Did I ever tell the class about that time in Chippewa?"

Tom Waits

I saw Tom Waits on the TV when I was seventeen and at some exchange student function in Sweden, hanging out with American and Canadian teens. Tom Waits came on Letterman and played, and I said, "Hey, it's Tom Waits! That makes me so homesick. He lives in my town." And they all looked at Tom Waits and then at me and then at Tom Waits and on the Teen Popularity Cool Scale, I dipped from 4 to 2 (10 being best). Up until then, I had been unpopular for being from San Francisco (because, really, only people from San Francisco really love San Francisco). Now one of them said what everyone was thinking, "He looks like hell. Who goes on TV looking like that?" What could I say? That's what everyone looked like in Sebastopol. Now they all look equally weird but in a different way, and I still like Tom Waits.

Livin' the Dream: Bees

We went and got the bees today! Reeseville is hard to find when every road to Reeseville is closed! I'm not kidding. Every road to Reeseville was closed. We feared the rapture really happened, but only in Reeseville. Drove close to 200 miles.

Little Z: "Are we going to wrong way? I think we are going the wrong way." We were supposed to drive 140 miles.

In the end, we just took a road that was closed. When we got there, there were lots and lots of people there to pick up bees. I had to wait 45 minutes in line with some Serbians. No one said a word about the detours - unless they said it in Serbian. I did hear, "Katastrof" quite a few times, which I assume means, "catastrophe." Or perhaps "Zombie Apocalypse" or even "the Rapture." Or maybe, "Look at that idiot lady in front of us." Hm...

On the way home, we had bees in the car. I mean, most of them were in the box, but we had some who tagged along outside of the box.

BAH: "I wonder what people think when they see all of these bees flying around in our car?"
Me: "I doubt they notice. Bees are small." What I was thinking, though, was I wonder if Little Z is allergic to bees?

The bees are nice, though. They didn't sting anyone in the car. They're all set in their new hive, now. We even went out to watch them later and saw them sting a robber bee several times and throw him off the edge!

Change is Difficult

My most favorite cousin is having a sex change, from woman to man. (I'm sorry if you're another cousin reading this blog! Keep in mind, though, that these things are transitory. Pun intended.) I'm going to momentarily ignore most of the issues surrounding this. When all is said and done, the one thing that irritates me is this: our language is not set up for this kind of thing.

When I talk about him (her?) in the past, which pronoun do I use? It makes sense to say "she" but doesn't feel quite right. I've temporarily resolved to say "they" but then, as someone who is licensed to teach English grammar, I just don't feel completely right about that. Technically, it's never correct to use "they" in the singular.

In another sense, this grammatical problem illustrates the ambiguity, the uncertainty, the good will yet strange feelings of the whole situation. Life is clearly about the journey. Meanings are not always clear. We muddle through and try to find the best answers we can. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. I wish I was more certain about sex change grammar and pretty much everything else in life, but I have no answers, only more questions.

On a slightly related note, kudos to George Takei, who is even cooler than I previously thought he was.

The End of the World As We Know It

It's quite possible that the Rapture really did happen today, but I just haven't noticed yet because all of my friends and family (except for, Kathleen, Mumsy and Grandma Ruth) would still be roaming the Earth at this point, like every other Saturday. Also, there was no real specification for time zone for the Rapture. It may be Hong Kong time, for all I know.

The Next Book for Harry Potter Fans

I have been somewhat absent lately from the internet. I haven’t even been playing Lexulous on Facebook! That’s because I have been reading books, books of fiction, two in fact:

The Wise Man’s Fear


The Name of the Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss.

You’re supposed to read them in the opposite order, but I’m not one for conformity, and I’m not sure it matters that I read them backwards. I enjoyed them both a lot. I’m trying to think why they were such good reads- 1800+ pages total- and I realize that these books have a lot in common with Harry Potter. Teenage wizard? Yes. Orphan? Yes. General feel of being an outcast? Yes. Going off to a special school that teaches magic? Yes. Some sort of human yet not human supervillain who killed his parents? Yes. Three months or so of nudity and sex with a faery queen or something? Oh, wait. I guess that hasn’t got much to do with Harry Potter.

There’s also a pretty intense, slightly overblown love story. But still - great reading. I highly recommend it.

Now I just have to wait for the third book!


I don't have the time for a proper blog post that would describe all I have been doing for the past few weeks and the reasons I haven't written, so here is a list that will give you some hints:

1. "The chickens are eating the strawberries! The chickens are eating the strawberries! Go out there, Mommy! Quick!"

2. Fencing, fencing, fencing.

3. We have baby turkeys! Turkey babies are called poults.

4. The Wise Man's Fear and The Name of the Wind (I'm reading them in the wrong order, but I like it that way. Maybe everyone should read them in the wrong order!) This is the first time I have seen the cover art for these books, finding links for them, and I have to admit I would not have bought them by their covers, not ever! But I heard an interview with the author on public radio and my husband bought them for me for the Sony ereader, so I never actually saw a cover before I became completely, totally engrossed in them.

5. Student: "Allen- um- [Ginsberg], or that dude- whatever- he was gay?"
Me: "Yeah, that was on a slide a few slides back, yeah, he was gay."
Student: "I mean, he was really gay? And he's dead now? Like, he was really gay?"
Me: "Yeah, he was gay. He was gay a few slides ago, fifteen minutes ago I said he was gay and I'm pretty sure he stayed that way his entire life. Yeah. People tend to do that. Stay how they are. It's nice you pick up on details."

I don't know. I was really annoyed.

6. Wine, wine. Beer, beer. Sunny, warm, and lovely days off on the weekend.

7. "Hi egg lovers!

I have a system now for eggs:

If you want more eggs, please leave an egg carton with your name on it in my mailbox. I will fill it with eggs as soon as I can, and when I leave it in the refrigerator at school, I will send you an email reminder to pick it up. Money in the yellow envelope.

You may notice that the spring eggs taste a little richer than the winter eggs. That is because, now that the weather has warmed up a little, the chickens are venturing outside and eating bugs. When there is snow on the ground, they tend to stay inside and eat their store bought chicken feed, which gives the eggs an uncomplicated flavor. Now, the eggs are much more interesting, and I think better. Even some of the shells are a different color than before, with freckles.

Best regards,


8. Stinky cheese at lunch. Unspoken, "I'm more cosmopolitan than you are" competition.

9. "Nice spread." As in, nice farmette. Nice country home. Nice solar power. Nice duck pond, etc. I think I may have a series over the summer, "Nice Spread," in which I shall present pictures of my favorite local farms to look at.