Tuesday, August 30, 2011

random thoughts tuesday

Don't you love it when you go through the forgot your password prompts and you answer your secret questions correctly and they tell you your new password has been sent to your email address and then, you know what comes next, you have no idea which email address you used.

Gotta love backyard chickens, too. You go through the trouble of cutting up veggie scraps, taking said scraps to the chicken coop in 106 degree temps, and how do they show their aprpeciation? They strut around on top of the veggies, mashing them into the dirt and then take a sh*t right on top. Splat!

I guess that's where the saying, I'm so happy I could sh*t originated.

And then there's the trappings of the digital age. You can't hide anymore. Case in point:

Just after I post a status update, my home phone rings. It's somebody whose voice I'd rather hear on my answering machine than hold a conversation with. So I do what any good socially avoidant personality would do, let the machine pick it up.

But they leave no message. Half a minute later my cell phone rings. I'm all, Day-em, busted 'n sh*t. Because now they know I'm either (a) sitting at my home computer, or (b) posting via my cell phone. But then I think, No. Wait. Don't answer. I'm outside feeding the chickens. I mean, really, who carries their cell phone to feed the chickens?

The upshot is this: In this digital age, it gets to the point where your frenemies think you spend an awful lot of time hanging out at the chicken coop.

m For the final random thought you must go to this NYC street performance art link, Say Something Nice. Take a listen to the woman speaker at 2:26.

Monday, August 22, 2011

true evil

Every time I hear a right wing Christian preacher ranting about the evils of the gay lifestyle or some neo-con politician up for re-election warning that the legalization of gay marriage is the antithesis of family values, my blood boils.

Because I have listened to too many heartwrenching stories about the true and actual evils bestowed by Christian parents upon their gay children. These supposed God fearing moms and dads.

Painful recountings by gays of parents who failed them, rejected them, abused them. Childhoods, adolescences, adult years of being criticized, threatened, berated, humiliated and ostracized. Parents who doled out condemnation rather than acceptance for something their child didn't choose, contrary to the uninformed propaganda. Time and again I have comforted middle aged adults whose train wrecked lives can't ever get on track because, in my professional opinion, they were denied essential love and nurturance by the very people entrusted to shelter and raise them.

So here is my point, in case it isn't obvious by now. The true evil is perpetrated, not by gays who are merely trying to find their truth, but by gay haters, gay deniers, gay bashers. By those masquerading as followers of Jesus, who, by the way, purportedly never preached against homosexuality. Or if he did, it wasn't remembered or viewed so important as to warrant inclusion in the gospels by the big man in the clouds doing the inspirational nudging.

The core violation of family values occurs, instead, in the homes of gay repudiating parents whose fear, ignorance and narcissism prevents them from fulfilling their fundamental Christian duty: to provide a safe upbringing to their children. To love them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

sweet thumping

Every year in Luling, Texas there's a Watermelon Thump, where thump equals festival.

Every year I say I want to go and every year I miss it for one reason or another, usually because I forget all about it when the weekend arrives. This year we had just returned from vacation and I opted to stay home and luxuriate in doing nothing.

It's called a watermelon thump for an important reason. Choosing a good watermelon, a ripe melon that isn't overly ripe, is all in the thump. After reading one of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. Brightsides Friday Fast Ones give advice on watermelon selection, I remembered a funny story.

Sam was told by a guy who used to sell watermelons on the side of the road that it's all in the stripes. Pick a melon with stripes that blend and blur into each other rather than distinct stripes.

One day earlier in the summer I finally remembered this advice. Came home ready to see if the proof was in the melon. Sam picked it up and asked, Did you feel this?! All accusatory like.

Turns out one end was soft and squishy like a nerf ball. Rotten on one end. Over ripe. I was so busy looking at stripes that I didn't feel the damned thing. BFD. Where D = Duh. I could have kicked myself.

With these:

So when I read Mrs. Brightside, I was curious and went to youtube. Watched a slew of experts (produce managers, farmers, Ag extension service dudes). None mentioned stripes. Only one mentioned color but it was general, bright color recommended rather than dull.

They all mentioned the thump, however. Hollow, echo sound to the thump. Dull thud means over ripe. They also said to pick one with a yellow resting spot, not white.

And? The hotter the weather the sweeter the melon. Silver lining given the summer we're having. Last week we beat the previous record of 21 consecutive days of triple digit temperatures with 27 days.

So, as it turns out, now's the perfect time to get out there and thump. There's some sweet watermelon waiting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

taking the plunge, Austin style

Took one of my kids and three of her friends kayaking this afternoon. Playing super mom, my husband Sam called it.

We rented three kayaks and set out for Town Lake, aka newly-named-but-seldom-referred-to-by-the-locals-as Lady Bird Lake.

First we paddled under the Barton Springs Footbridge.

Here's a view pedestrians see when walking along Town Lake Hike 'n Bike Trail:

Then we paddled under the Barton Springs Road Bridge.

Then once we were out on the lake, we headed for our final destiny, the Lamar Street Bridge. It spans the lake, connecting SoLa (South Lamar) on the south side of the Colorado River, with downtown's 5th Street.

Once we made it, my daughter and her friends were in awe of the bridge jumpers, the young people who park their kayaks underneath, climb up onto the trestles and plunge into the water.

Here's a look from under the bridge.

Of course, what did Daring Daughter (DD) and her friends quickly set as their goal? I didn't think they would succeed in climbing up to the trestle landing so I didn't try to stop them. Amused, I stayed out in the middle of the lake watching.

Undeterred, the kids piled one kayak on top of the other on the center landing. With a handup from one of the jumper dudes (super mom hadn't seen this coming) next thing I knew they were up on the trestle.

It took them over a dozen one, two, threes before getting up the nerve to fling themselves out to the water.

Again and again they jumped (from the second wrung, not the third as pictured above), screaming and squealing. Wish I had my camera so I could have captured their huge smiles.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal, this bridge jumping, but some things in life are too much fun to let something as silly as a local law to get in the way. Sometimes a mom just has to look the other way. Or in my case, keep her eyes glued so as not to miss a second of it.

All pictures courtesy of other Austin photographers.

Friday, August 12, 2011


yogravation - the feeling you get when you rearrange your week's schedule to attend a particular yoga class, only to show up, mat in hand, and find it was cancelled.

fortunately, there is help. everydaypeoplecartoons by cathy thorne.

Friday, August 05, 2011

TGIF Fill-Ins

1. How can I be sure you really are a Young Rascal?

2. What would weed-ius do?

3. My hair obeyed my every command today.

4. Family reunion avoiders anonymous.

5. My favorite summer fruits
are cherries and mango.

6. Yumm, that was delicious, thanks... er wait ...what was that?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching instant movies on Nitflex, tomorrow my plans include tennis and Sunday, I want to huddle in the air conditioning with my hubs!

Cleeck on zee link if yee wish to plee Friday Fill-Ins, too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

the scream, redux

If Edvard Munch were still alive, a photographer, in Austin, and sitting on my side porch in the 108 degree heat, here would have been his inspiration for The Scream.

It is that hot and it isn't just my candle that is melting around here.