Whoa, whoa the Fourth of July…whoa!

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Man. Can’t believe we’re already into July. Of 2009. Wow.

Been a little quiet here on the blog-o-rama since I was out and about all weekend.

Big fun. Well worth it!

Sure, I thought I could never top last year’s holiday celebration, featuring the viewing of fireworks from a Cessna aeroplane.

But this year went ahead and topped it.

There were fireworks, but not like you think.

This year, The Good Man and I loaded up the car and went on a road trip.

Destination: LA

Reason? My amazing, world-class talented cousin wrote and produced a musical and chose this weekend for a family and friends weekend show.

Now, I had read an early version of the script, so I knew what to expect, but this show blew well past even my own expectations!

It was an amazing night, all around.

So there we were in West Hollywood…my cousin was wise and prescient enough to get us a limo (easy to corral a lot of family that way!).

We all got ourselves dolled up for the show and loaded up. Off we went, cruising the streets of Los Angeles.

So yeah, you know, on the Fourth, I got to emerge from a limo, in LA, on my way to this fabulous new show…

Cuz I roll like that.

Yes, I was able to keep my skirt down as I emerged. Yes, I was also wearing chones. I also roll like that.

No one needs to know that really, rather than “emerge” from the limo, my high heeled foot slipped off the step rail, thus whacking the side of my foot on the way down and causing me to actually tumble out of the limo.

But in my memory, when I retell the story, I emerged gracefully, like an elegant movie star from a bygone era.

It was just all around, an amazing weekend that went by way WAY too fast. I got to be with my cousin, one of my most favorite people in the whole world. I got to be with family, I got to see a killer show, I got to hit a couple Hollywood hot spots, and I got to have another amazing memory to make with my fabulous husband.

I can’t ask for anything better than all that!

And now, here we are at Monday.

This morning, there is a line for the auto-espresso maker.

The light of day in the real world is always a bit of a let down, now in’nit?

Want some cheese to go with that whine?

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Lord knows, I’ve been prone to giving over to a deep, hearty kvetch about living here in the Bay Area, and these marine layer weather patterns this Flower of the Desert must face.

Ok, fine, I own it.

However, today, I’m here to say that all the wet weather actually *does* have some benefits. Occasionally even *I* can find a place of gratitude for all of that goddamn rattin’ smattin’ essential rain.

See, The Good Man and I are renters, and as such, aren’t required to take care of our yard. Good thing, too…cuz we’d have grass a mile high.

My landlord and his son do yard work that’s mainly limited to cutting the grass every few weeks and chopping down nice trees that never did nothing to nobody. But that’s another story.

So over on the side of our humble abode, we have this:

It may be hard to see, but that’s a little spindly tree.

I mean…it’s pretty sad. Look at this puny little trunk:

What you should know about that little tree is that no one really does much of anything with it. We don’t water it. We don’t prune it. We hardly look at it. It’s just “that tree” over by where we store the trashcans.

I’ve occasionally photographed the tree when it puts on white flowers, working on my macro skills. But other than that, it goes totally ignored.

Well. This year, the little tree that decided to get noticed.

This year, that son-of-a-gun put on a crapload of fruit. Apricots.

I’ve lived here five years. That tree has never, not once, put on fruit. It would flower, halfheartedly, but that’s it.

For some reason, even in a fairly dry Bay Area winter, that little spindly tree got enough water and sun and nutrients to fill its skinny little boughs with fruit.

Wow.

And it’s tasty fruit too! VERY delicious. Boy, I do love a good juicy and tart apricot in the summertime.

I remember my college roommate’s mom would put up a fantastic apricot jam…that she’d serve on top of homemade biscuits. Oh my.

So ok, I whine. I jump up and down. I tantrum. I complain that I am a convection-cooled device (a human swamp cooler) finely tuned to the high desert and cannot possibly be expected to properly function in this humidity.

Then I bite into a ripe, juicy apricot and I think, “Hey, all that rain is not so bad!”

Oh Dear!

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I believe we have a rogue deer in my part of the world.

How, might you ask, would I know that?

Because, I am a woman of New Mexico, daughter of a hunter and champion poo identifier.

That, my friends, is a healthy, well-fed ruminant.

So normally this wouldn’t bother me, but this little deposit, made Saturday evening, is located less than a foot from my home.

True, I live pretty much in the suburbs, but it’s not THAT suburban. We do have some open land a couple miles away from us, but it’s pretty tight housing and people where I’m at.

Here in California, we are SO anti the mountain lion, one gets spotted at a fair distance and the *freak* out happens. Quickly it’s captured and relocated or killed.

See, if we hadn’t killed all the mountain lions, those stick-legged animals wouldn’t be leaving their leavings in my front yard!

That’s the circle of life, people!

I’d be more than happy to help Bambi the Yard Visitor make his or her way onto my dinner plate, but noooo, California can’t have *that*.

Bambi is cute and doesn’t have sharp paws, so he gets to stick around, ruining fences, gardens and causing havoc but the feline meat eaters get ostracized.

*sigh*

(Note to my readers: oh yes I DID just post a poo photo on my blog! If the award winning Pioneer Woman can do it, well, so can I!)

Conservationism is hogwash

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I know, I know. Heresy to say such a thing the day after Earth Day, but I’m saying it.

Ok, let me be a bit more specific.

Water and electric conservation is poppycock.

I’m mad. Can you tell?

I’ll tell you why in two stories.

One from several years back. One from a couple days ago that got my ire all up again.

First story. Electricity.

You may recall in the early 2000’s, California was going through a power crisis during the hot summer months.

We were subject to brownouts and rolling blackouts. Which is just a nice way of saying, “oooops, your power is out, we did it on purpose.”

Then-Governor Gray Davis challenged all of us to conserve power with the threat of increased power rates. It was a rallying cry. Stores turned off half or more of their lights. The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate went dark (turned off the accent lights, kept the roadway lights on), and I personally worked really hard to use less energy.

What happened?

The state of California conserved 11% energy. ELEVEN PERCENT!! That is a HUGE number.

We were then rewarded by the news that the power companies were corrupt, our overuse was never the issue, and rates went up, by a lot, to offset the crisis.

Conserving power meant nothing. Nothing. We paid more anyway.

Second story. Water.

It’s been noted in the news recently that California is having an especially dry year. Our reservoirs are a bit low. We didn’t get the snow pack that those that know would like to see.

So in Santa Clara County, they have enacted conservation…with the threat of raising rates.

And the people and businesses are doing it. They are conserving.

On the radio Tuesday, I heard a report that conservation has worked SO well that the water company hasn’t been bringing in enough billing revenue to sustain their beleaguered business model.

So they are going to raise rates, anyway.

Working so hard to conserve water meant NOTHING.

This concept of voluntary conservationism is useless and a bunch of bullhockey! Don’t threaten or coerce me. If you are just going to raise my rates then go ahead and raise my rates. That will get me to use less, I promise!

Any first year business student can draw for you the chart showing supply and demand. And price is a factor in demand. A BIG factor.

You raise rates, people will want to pay less, they will use less and conservation of resources happens.

This jimmy-jacking around, blaming the victim, telling me I’m a bad consumer and must use less or bad things will happen…so then I use less and bad things happen anyway?

By the by…I already use so little water and so little power as to be laughable. I turn off lights, I unplug appliances, I use Energy Star. My bills stay pretty low.

So no. I’m done. I’m done trying really hard to conserve even more, only to be rewarded by higher rates anyway.

Done!

/rant