“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Thursday Thirteen #20

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Things I'd Like To Grow In My Next Garden

1. Crimson King Maple Tree - My Grandma had one in her backyard and I always loved those beautiful dark red leaves. Hers grew in a wide pattern like it was stretching it's arms out to welcome you, instead of the typical tall pattern, but either way, I would love to have one in my own yard.

2. Old Man Willow Tree - This is more something the Geek wants than me, but I do think they are beautiful. Of course, it's really just a Weeping Willow tree, but being Tolkien fans, it will without a doubt be called Old Man Willow.

3. Birch Trees - There are two small Birch trees on Ithilien right now. I hope to add more. They are so graceful and whispery.

4. Flowering Crabapple Trees - Those lush blooms in spring are too much to pass up.

5. Apple Trees - Shiny apples of many colors. Sweet and tart for making pies or eating right off the tree. Yummy!

6. Double White Lilacs - My first experience with these was at my current house. They are the most beautiful lilacs I have ever seen and I must have some in my new garden!

7. Heirloom Roses - I love them all. The big fat ones with seemingly millions of petals packed tightly, which remind me for some reason of Jane Austen novels. Or the sparse ones with only a single round of petals; simple, but not by any means lacking in beauty.

8. Peonies, Peonies, and more Peonies! - I adore peonies. I don't think I have ever seen a peony I didn't immediately fall head over heels in love with.

9. Simple white Daisies - sweet and smiling

10. Lilies of the Valley - I want to hide them in little corners here and there where they will peek out from under another plant like tiny fairies jumping out to surprise you.

11. Grapes - Whether eating them or drinking them, I love grapes.

12. Raspberries - Sweet and tart and pretty besides. Hopefully I can keep the birds from eating them all!

13. Lots and lots of veggies! - There is just nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables picked from your own garden...nothing.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Making A List

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Followed a link.
Found something fun.
Hmmm. That gives me an idea.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

The sun came out yesterday – actual spring sunshine complemented by a truly azure sky. This afternoon the sky has clouded up and they say we're in for a good, hard spring thunderstorm. At nearly 70 degrees fahrenheit, I'm okay with a storm. Let the rain wash away the winter scum that has accumulated over everything. Let the soil drink deeply and the world turn green again.

There are tiny hints of green grass in the lawn. I am watching, waiting for the tight brown tips of tree branches to burst open, revealing the viridescent treasures hidden inside. Little baby leaves of strawberry plants are peeking out through their pine needle mulch, testing the air to see if it's safe to come out yet. Even the peonies are starting to force their crimson heads through the newly warmed soil.

Spring is coming – it is already here – and it's good to breathe again.

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Smooth Operator

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I have a friend who, along with her four siblings, grew up in theater. Whenever one of them came home from a successful show, that sibling was required to take out the garbage. It was their parents way of keeping them humble. Every once in a while, it seems I am compelled to do something to humble myself, and make me reconsider whether I am worthy of the title of Geekwif.

The other day I was on a call at work. In the course of the call, I needed to conference in another person. Having worked in customer service most of my adult life, I have a pretty good idea of how to properly use a standard office telephone. I know how to transfer a call, how to put someone on hold without losing them, and how to perform a three-way conference call.

However, the phones in my current place of employment are designed for call centers and have many buttons beyond the typical office phone, most of which are used for taking and tracking calls on several queues. Since I don't take incoming calls, I haven't needed to learn how to use anything beyond the basic transfer, hold, and conference keys.

Even though I had not used the conference feature of this phone yet, I was completely confident as I pressed the conference button. My finger was moving rapidly toward the first number in my dialing sequence when my phone started ringing...loudly...very loudly. I quickly turned down the volume while thinking, "Great. What a time for my second line to ring." Problem was, my second line wasn't blinking. There was no call coming in; my phone was just ringing.

I pressed the button to pick up my original call and try the conference again, but it kept ringing, and while it was slightly less abrasive at a lower volume, it was obvious that something was not right. It just kept ringing. When I hit conference, the tone changed and it rang some more. I hit conference again. Another new tone. More ringing.

By this time, I was pretty flustered. My phone seemed to have gotten the mistaken idea that I wanted to change my ringtone, and it was not about to let me make that conference call until I made my decision. But I didn't know how to convince it that I was fine with the current tone, and meanwhile my customer was waiting on hold.

Then my co-workers started talking. "What is that?"

"Someone's trying to change their ringtone." I could hear the rolling eyes even over the cube wall. The tone of voice translated the word "someone" into "some loser".

"Oh," was the only reply, but there were clear implications of disgust in that single syllable.

Or maybe that was my paranoia speaking.

And then I heard my own plaintive cry as I called sheepishly over the cube wall. "That's me. I don't know how to make it stop."

And here I am, hired to help people fix their electronic equipment. Yeah. That makes me look real good.

At first I wasn't sure anyone heard me, but soon rolling-eyes-guy came over and fixed it for me. Turns out there's a function key (which I had on somehow) which changes the conference button into a "let's see how many obnoxious noises my phone can make" button.

So I made my call, and I never mentioned the fiasco again. And thankfully, neither did my co-workers. In fact, now that I've outed myself to the world as technologically incompetent, I think I will never speak of this incident again.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

CandymeisterLooky what Leanne made me! Take a look on my sidebar and you'll see it in it's permanent home. Isn't it lovely?

If you don't already know her, Leanne is a wonderful artist who paints portraits of pets among other things. Recently her work was on exhibit. Part of that exhibit was a series of paintings called "Eye Ate It". In the process of completing the series, she asked her readers to name the candies she was painting. I had no idea until then that I knew so much about candy, but I was naming candies like a candy-eatin' maniac. Of course, it helped that there were a lot of non-chocolate candies in the mix.

So, as a reward for my candy-naming prowess, she made this adorable image for me! Thanks Leanne!

P.S. Speaking of candy, I stopped in the Easter candy aisle at the grocery store today and thought I'd pick up my annual (and quite necessary) supply of marshmallow Peeps,
but they had none!!! They had Cadbury eggs, and malted milk ball eggs, chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs. They had every kind of Easter candy under the sun, but they had NO marshmallow Peeps! What has this world come to, I ask you? What has this sad, sad world come to?



Thursday Thirteen #19

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Crazy Things I Could Do To Get Fired

Yesterday morning at work...well, let's just say it wasn't such a good morning. I was in the middle of an on-going frustration and I sent a text message to a couple friends, unrestrainedly expressing my frustration.

My friend, Little B came to my rescue with the suggestion that we text each other ideas of things I could do to get fired and/or scare my bosses. It turned out to be a surprisingly successful exercise in stress relief, and at the end of the day there just happened to be 13 messages between the two of us. At 10 cents a piece, that's $1.30 – worth every penny.

1. I have a yellow smiley face stress ball on my desk. I could dig out its eyes, fill them with ketchup, and put it on my boss's desk attached to a list of my demands.

2. Beautiful. You could cut out letters ransom note style and put it on the copier and put them in everyone's box...including yours.

3. I could sneak into my boss's office and email his resignation to the entire company

4. PERFECT. Give a juicy reason too.

5. I could crank my ring tone (DC Talk - Jesus Freak) volume, have you call me several times throughout the day, and just let it ring until it goes to voicemail.

6. Sign on microwave "bomb inside" haha

7. Shoot spitballs in random directions over the cube walls.

8. Let the air out of everyone's tires.

9. Fart loudly.

10. ...and then giggle.

11. Then spray some bad air freshener over your cube.

12. Wear pajamas and slippers to work.

13. ...and no bra.

Disclaimer: Of course, if my boss is reading this, I would never do any of these things in reality. In fact, I don't know where this came from. Who wrote this? Did someone sabotage my blog? I don't know what you're talking about...ahem...sir.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Write-Away Contest (non-entry entry)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Michelle over at Scribbit hosts a monthly writing contest called Write-Away. Each month she chooses a subject and offers a prize for the winning entry. This month her subject, childhood memories, reminded me of a post I wrote a couple months ago about my favorite childhood memory, entitled "Promise".

I am not entering the contest to win the prize, since this month's prize is better suited to a writer with children; but I wanted to submit it for the list anyway because it fits the subject matter, because it's one of my favorite posts, and because (to be embarassingly honest) I need the link since I've slacked off on my writing lately.

On Tuesday, March 13th, the winner of the contest will be posted at Scribbit along with a list of, and links to the participating entries. Please go, read, and enjoy. The last couple of months have been filled with some entertaining, heart-warming, well-written, and all-around enjoyable entries.

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Visual DNA

Saturday, March 10, 2007



An Old Friend

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The sniffly, snuffly, scratchy throat bug stung me this week. When it first hit me over the weekend, I blamed it on allergies, though I don't know to what since everything allergenic is still frozen. Yesterday morning I gave up, admitted I was sick, and came home from work. I spent today at home as well.

I've been wanting to get back to posting regularly, but other than snow, snow, and more snow there hasn't been much to write about. Today, I thought I'd take a look in my drafts and found this idea which I had saved quite a while ago. It fit my present mood, so here it is.


Some time ago, Debra posted about a big old tree which her neighbors cut down. Though it was a different kind of tree, and a completely different situation, it made me think of the big old pine tree in front of our house. It's some sort of evergreen (possibly a white pine) and it's huge. I tell people when they come to my house to look for the giant tree with the little white house.

This tree stands high above the height of any of the houses on our street. It stands much higher, even, than any of the other trees on our street. I would call it majestic because it is so grand, but it's also a little misshapen. I suppose it could be compared to a grand old king whose back isn't so straight as it once was, but whose presence is still powerful and imposing.

I have been told that some of our neighbors don't like it. They think it's crooked and ugly. They are afraid that if it ever fell in a storm it would fall on their house. Of course, they will only talk to other neighbors, not to me. Our next-door neighbor, who was privy to these murmurings, told me what they had to say, but being one of those people (like me) who is likely to fall in love with such things as ancient trees, she advised me to ignore them. The tree is perfectly healthy, and since I am more likely to topple than it is, I took her advice.

When anyone asks me why I don't cut it down, I usually chicken out and say that it's because it would cost too much. "I know someone who knows someone," I say, "who had their tree cut down and it cost them almost $10,000; and their tree wasn't as big as this one."

The truth is that I couldn't bear to cut it down. This tree is like an old, dear friend. It's beautiful in its own unique way. It is majestic, despite it's odd bends and kinks. It's like looking at the face of your 90-year-old grandmother and knowing that it is one of the most lovely visages that ever was; though a stranger would not see it, it is clear to you.

As long as I live here (which probably won't be much longer) that tree will not be cut down. It's part of the place. Cutting it down would be like cutting off the nose of this property. It belongs here, and it this home would not be complete without it.

I know very well that the next owner may cut it down. If I ever come back and see that it's gone, I will probably shed a tear or two. It's not just a part of the property. It's a bit of stately verdant nature in an otherwise gray, urban neighborhood; it's an unlikely home for sparrows, squirrels, and occasionally bright red cardinals. It's the first thing I see when I look out my bedroom window. In winter, the snow sits like frosting on it's boughs; and in the summer, raindrops hang from every long needle like thousands of tiny mirrors, each reflecting a miniature of the same scene.

I am anxious to leave this place and move out to the country, but there are a few things I will miss. The old pine tree, like old friends and loved ones, is right up at the top of that list.

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