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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh rats! (and a perpetual fire)

Okay, so.  I live in a neighborhood where peeps are trying to get the heck out.  In that effort, some people just leave.  Pack up and go find somewhere else.  This leaves a pile of empty and foreclosed homes.  Now let me tell you who loves this: not me.  But rats, oh baby, rats dig this.  Which, I'm pretty sure, makes this place even more appealing.  It really does(N'T!!).  But if you are a rat family looking to build a home, this is the perfect place.  You can get yourself a 3 bedroom fix-er-upper for no money down!    Well, anyway.  

In an effort to keep the people population greater than the rat population, the local government has put safeguards into place (because they are trying to avoid the Guiness book for Rat City, USA).  One of these safeguards is that all peeps with firewood must dispose of it immediately.  Like yesterday.  Like unless you like rat-a-tat-tats nibbling out posh apartment buildings with their cheese-chompers.  I was a bit bummed to lose firewood, but the thought of rats singing the theme song to the Jeffersons in my backyard made me feel even worse so I had to come up with the disposal plan.  I would really like to chip it up, get some lovely mulch, so let's explore that.  The local handy dandy hardware store will be oh-so-generous and allow me to rent a chipper for around $200 (don't forget the insurance and tax - oooowwwwww!!!! My leg!!!!  Wait, why do they require insurance again?).  Perhaps no.  Maybe some tree service peeps will be strolling this way with a chipper and want to do me a flavor (yes, I said flavor) and chipper it upper.  They'll get back to me on that (a la don't call us, we'll call you).  

Then it happened.  The cheapness thought struck.  Burn baby, burn!  So around somewhere in the middle of the morning, I began celebrating the end of summer with a bonfire.  And rat apartment nation negation began.  It ended sometime over twelve hours later, a hunk of ratty wood here, a hunk of ratty wood there.  I woke up this morning and tossed the paper garbage in that empty fire pit and viola!  The fire woke up again and started burning.  Might as well toss on another log.  Or two.  Or fifteen.  

I am pretty sure the energy output I've got going on over here could pretty much fuel El Salvador for a month.  In the winter.  Where its...88 degrees

I meant fuel all of Alaska.  For 12 minutes.  In the summer.  If only I had a tube that could send all of this energy that way.  Oh well.  One can have lofty goals, now, eh?

For me, for now, I shall sit here, relaxin' with my tower-o-flame and ponder the important things of life with a glass of kombucha, for example, how did early people discover fire in the first place?  Why do rats multiply faster than anything?  Why does that neighbor's dog weigh 200 pounds?  What subset of the populace could I get to like rats singing the Jefferson's theme song enough that I could make money on it?  All very ponderous man, really ponderous.

I remain, yours truly - peace, love and kombucha,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nope, still no.

Have you ever done something you wish that you didn't do?

No.  Of course YOU haven't.  So let me tell you about a time when I did.

Just so you can sympathize.  Even though you don't really know what that would be like.  So just humor me.

Okay, here we go.

So, I love food.  And wait - I mean food.  Real food.  Not quasi-food-like-substances.  Food that Michael Pollan considers food.  Food that Joel Salatin would be proud of.  Do you get me?  If no - what I'm saying is - food that God made, not food that some crazy dude made up in a lab (high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, TBHQ, rBST, BHT, maltodextrin, canola oil, GMO corn/soy/sugar beets/rats, whatever.).

Due to my food-loving nature, I have a mini-garden (I pretend it's a farm in my imagination) where I decided to plant the usual variety of things.  One of these things is sweet peppers.  Cool.  Fairly benign, you say.  I reply, "FOR YOU, MAYBE!!!"

You see, I like sweet peppers.  But the feeling is not mutual.  Those sweet peppers became my enemy out of the blue a little over half of a decade ago and they've never looked back.  They're like this petty vengeful teenage girl who flirts with your boyfriend just for spite.  (Proper responses to that qualm shall not be discussed here, but I can assure you that they may or may not involve an exorbitant amount of creativity.)  They're like a sick, evil little thing that pretends it's all nicey-nicey and then BAM!  Well, it's not too polite to discuss the rest.  

So I did a dumb thing.  I had this lovely sweet and sour chicken recipe, oh, isn't it LOVELY, it has some green onions and some sweet peppers, oh yes, I think I'll make it, it's so lovely, let me go out to the garden and pick some lovely ingredients for my lovely dinner.  Yes, I failed.  You see, I thought the thought you should never think.  I thought, "THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT."

This time, the peppers won't do that to me!  No!  I grew them with my own two sweaty, dirty hands!  These are ORGANIC!  These have been lovingly been taken care of!  These little monsters are nice!  These aren't made in some factory, full of sweaty, angry, spitting people!  These are nice ones, grown in the sunshine of my very own (ratty?) backyard.  This time it will be different!!



It had been nary an hour - AN HOUR - and my stomach began to speak to me.  It said, "Excuse me, person?  Yes, you up there?  Hi.  Can you just tell me something?  Would you please tell me if you may have eaten some bites of a sweet pepper?"

Then it began to shout, "Hello!  Yeah, you up there!  Yo!  Sucka!  What the what did you feed me!?"  

Five or so-ish hours later, my stomach was no longer my own.  It had turned into an exorcist, fiercefully trying to rid itself of some invisible (okay, more like green and sweet peppery-shaped) demon.  At this betrayal, I began asking the dumbest question everrrr, "Why!??"  (p.s. Yes, there are dumb questions.  Just ask ANY teacher.)  Then the other part of my brain started answering, "You know why!   Are you even kidding me right now?"

"B..b..but, but, but I...I thought..."

"No.  No ya didn't.  That's yer problem right there.  You DIDN'T think."

"But..but...I grew it and I thought it was going to be different!  Waaaaah!"

And then the back talkin' smart part of me did that one rendition of the Geico commercial where the army commander guy pretends to be a psychiatrist and throws a Kleenex box at the sniveling idiot who is laying on the couch saying why the color yellow makes him sad.

Sigh.  Well.

Yes.  We see here the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Ahem.

Maybe next time if I drink kombucha first...?  Nah, never mind...

Anyway - peace, love and kombucha,

Ms. Daisy

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dollar Store Death

It can buy you oh-so-much!
So, there I was, following my sister into the dollar store.  She is a new teacher this year (and she is going to be fabulous, by the way, I know you didn't have any doubt anyway, but I just had to make it clear for all-a-y'all.) and we were looking for those thingies that go on your desk that has your name on it.  You've seen them, those name label-thingies in every elementary classroom 'round this good earth with the names in perfect printing or cursive of each of the little darlins who will sit there and make that desk home for the nine months to come.  So, anyway, we were in luck, and they had a section of it in multiple colors (Hooray!  I totally tried to get her to buy the ones with pink it in but she went with primary colors.  She's practical like that.  PSH!  Boys will just love their new pink nametags!  Er, well, perhaps no.).  Then we went to walk around and see if there was anything else we could get on a bargain.

That's when I noticed something.  All of the food products shall I put this delicately?  Ah yes, poison.  They were poison.  High fructose corn syrup laden, mixin' in with all the partially hydrogenated oils you could shake a stick at - not to mention polysorbate 20, 40, 60 and 80.  They were probably inventing polysorbates just to put in there for dollar store convenience (Look!  NEW!  Now with Polysorbate 124!).  Then, we meandered away from the polysorbates to the parabens in the health and beauty section and finally over to the collection of oodles and oodles of bpa plastics.

In their defense, I did see some things that I have a slight obsession over - that is, glass jars.  Why am I in love with glass jars?  Not sure, but, alas, I am.  Maybe so I can store some kombucha in right back...

Aahh, kombucha.  Now where was I?  Ah yes, glass jars...  No, poison.  Yes.

So then I got to thinking, who goes to these stores mainly?  Probably old people, they love bargains.  Probably poor people, they don't want to spend a lot of money on stuff.  If you combine these two, you get a subsection of our society that is usually left without much of a voice because they are considered weaker than the rest.  (Well, besides the occasional teacher - they're not weak - they just get paid like $5/hour to teach, referee, counsel, feed,  console, etc. everyone else's children for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 40 weeks a year, don't even get me started...)  And you know what?  I think that's wrong.  The corporations who are in love with cheap labor in China are manufacturing this garbage and pumping it out (like it's a pollutant into their nearby river) to the weakest members of our society.

In the words of Solomon, (repudiated to be the wisest man who has ever lived!) collected in the book we call Proverbs, he says, "Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished."  (Proverbs 17:5) and "Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty." (Proverbs 22:16)  Now, I'm not all about going crazy and turning the Gospel (translation: good news) into a social justice issue here, I'm just saying I think there's something messed up going on.

Now, I'm not going to have a fit on you if you want to go to the dollar store, I'm just here to encourage you to think about things.  Does this issue bother you?  Do you think it's anyone's choice to shop there if they want to or not, so if they want to use that stuff, that's their problem and we shouldn't even worry about it?  You tell me.

Something to think about, perhaps.

And now, back to the kombucha.

Peace, love and kombucha,
Ms. Daisy