Where have I been, and what the hell have I been doing? Not blogging, that's for sure. I did a little blogging on the YA writing site, including a few cartoons that are finally getting noticed and commented on, but other than that, it's been a little quiet in aquafortis-land. I do plan to post this past week's Flickr Fiction today or tomorrow (late, I know, but what can I do?). And why, you ask, am I suffering from chronic absenteeism? Okay. Here's some of the stuff that's been going on this past week and what I've learned as a result:
- Sewing is not one of my inborn talents. I've been spending many long hours helping my friend Jay sew costumes for the bridesmaids and groomsmen for her wedding later this month. And I do have a sewing machine, and I was very excited to use it, except it turns out my skills are quite rudimentary, and evidently when I'm sewing I have the attention span of a monkey on crack, so I tend to do idiotic things and then have to take stuff apart again with the seam ripper. Hopefully I'm capable of a small project like this tea cozy, which I'm making for a friend in need...see next item.
- Shotgun weddings do not necessarily involve buns in the oven. A friend of mine whom I've known since elementary school was scheduled to be married in June, and I was going to be a bridesmaid for that, too. But two weeks ago, I got a phone call from her and found out she's been diagnosed with a fairly aggressive form of breast cancer. So she decided to reschedule her wedding for April 29th (last Friday) so that she and her now-husband could enjoy a little married time together before she started treatment. It was actually a gorgeous wedding, and all of us bridesmaids were able to come (though our dresses weren't ready--we all wore plain black dresses). About 60 or 70 guests made it, too. She went off on a honeymoon for a few days, and when she got back, decided on neoadjuvant therapy. It starts this week. My plan is to send her a care package that will include the tea cozy and other tea stuff. If you know Cindy and you're reading this, shhh! Don't tell!
- Buying plant matter is time-consuming. We're finally landscaping the front corner of our property, which has of late become an after-dark gathering spot for neighborhood teenagers smoking pot, who then leave beverage containers and sometimes even school folders in the empty planter box. We'd prefer our property to be less friendly to such random gatherings (though we'd like to stop short of actually shaking our fists in a cantankerous manner while yelling "lousy kids!"). So we're taking out most of the masonry so that they don't have a nice ledge to sit on (the masonry was ugly anyway), just leaving a border, and then we're putting in a bunch more Japanese boxwood shrubs with a couple of mini-rose trees in the middle. We're also putting another tree in the front yard, a purple-leafed plum with the rather bizarre name of "Krauter Vesuvius." Thus completes the final part of our quest to shade all the front windows, which get hot afternoon sun in the summer. But shopping for like 20 shrubs and a tree takes a while.
- The Modesto nightlife is not as scary as I had feared. Friday night I had a little ladies' get-together as a belated 30th birthday celebration (missed you, B-dog and C-dog!). Five of us started the evening at 1505, where we listened to a more-than-halfway-decent cover band and enjoyed a few mixed drinks while getting better acquainted (not everybody knew one another). We also got a round of free drinks mixed in showy style when they found out it was my birthday. Very classy--a nice little place. Then we went on to Crocodiles, where Kathleen joined us for some dancing into the wee hours.
Highlights: DJ with a mullet. Getting asked to dance by guys clearly over 40 (and refusing). Fumi and I getting chatted up by a slightly creepy guy while we were attempting to kill a last drink at the bar, and Fumi responding by saying "I'm sorry, we're having a moment here." Aforementioned DJ not having "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order when I requested it (I don't understand how that's even possible). Dancing to "My Humps" and "Stayin' Alive." Me stubbornly sitting out "Back in Black." Some five-foot-tall guy repeatedly attempting to breakdance. Bar had Malibu rum and every kind of Schnapps or Pucker imaginable, but no Stoli Vanilla. Vodka gimlets that seemed to consist mainly of vodka, ice and a lime slice. Blinking lights in the floor, numerous ferns, and about twenty disco balls.
- You never know what might happen at a pig roast. We went to another pig roast planning party for PR2 last night. I did not drink a single beer (Friday night I had about 7 drinks and managed not to puke, so I wasn't going to push my luck. I was still recovering from residual feelings of yuck and headache.). I did eat some delicious carne asada tacos with homemade tortillas, though. Anyway, evidently there is now going to be bocce ball at the pig roast, and super soaker fights in the orchard behind Brian's house. These computer graphics faculty are an interesting bunch...
- Fresh vegetables rock. We finally enrolled in our local CSA program, through Rancho Piccolo at Silveira Farms, and got our first organic vegetable box on Thursday. It had romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, fava beans, cilantro, carrots, a lone cucumber, a few beets (with greens), chard, two teeny rutabagas, radishes, arugula, and a truly monstrous leek. And this is a half share.
- Our cat needs exercise. Thus our plan to get another kitten so that Roxie doesn't spend all day lazing around and failing to lose weight. We don't want her to be a diabetic cat later. Anyway, they were supposed to have an adoption event all weekend at PetSmart, but for some lame reason, this morning's event did not involve cats, only dogs. They did not tell me this over the phone. They only had a small selection of cats, only one of them a kitten, so we decided to try other options tomorrow. The only things we got out of the trip to PetSmart were a business card for a pet rescue center and dog crap on my shoe. Hooray.