Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rainbow Rocks

I've always thought rocks are neat. So when I visited my friends lake house up in Oswego, I went on a rock collecting frenzy. Pebbles and cobblestones of varying shapes and colors took the place of sand and spanned the length of the beach. It is a rock collector's paradise. I loaded them up in my backpack and then put them in a mason jar when I got home.

The beautiful Lake Ontario

Catch of the day

Rocks of every color

Friday, August 10, 2012

Crazy Dream

Unfortunately, dreams are very difficult to record and remember accurately as time passes. And no matter how I describe it, no one will picture exactly what I see in my sleep. Last night I had one of those crazy three part dreams. The three parts don't really relate, and I'm not really sure how I got from one part to the next, but it was pretty wild.

In the first part of the dream, I was in a tree. It was an extremely old, very tall tree. There was a platform perched among the branches near the top. I was sharing this platform with three friends, whose faces were extremely clear in the dream. We were all laying down trying to sleep, and clinging to each other, trying not to fall off. If one of us did fall, it would mean certain death. At one point I shifted my weight which caused my legs to slide off the side, and left me dangling off the edge. Normally this is the part of the dream where I would jolt awake from the sudden sensation of falling, but for some reason I wasn't scared this time. I must have had crazy upper body strength because I easily hoisted myself back up.

In the next segment of the dream, I was at a beach on Lake Ontario. It was definitely this lake, no question. Except this time, the water was more disgusting and contaminated than ever before. It had the color and muddy clarity of black coffee, and was absolutely littered with debris. Not only this, but all types of wildlife (squirrels, seagulls, fish...) and some household pets (cats and dogs) were laying lifeless on the beach. They had all fallen victim to the toxic waters. An omen of things to come if the water quality does not soon improve?

In the third part of the my dream, I was at another body of water, an ocean of some sort. I was in a lakeside hotel with a group of friends, and I can only remember one of the friends distinctly. She was also with me on the platform in the very tall tree. The hotel was so close to the lake, that it was a matter of foot steps to the beach. This water was much cleaner, but it was turbulent. The surf was absolutely packed with swimmers and beach goers. The water continued to get choppier. And then a tsunami formed, but it was not headed towards our lake house. It was travelling sideways, parallel to the beach. Two more tsunamis like this rolled across the water, just a few minutes apart. We hoped and prayed that another one didn't aim right for the shore. After the third tsunami, I noticed that a few small dogs had run up to the sliding glass door of our room, waiting to get let in. They definitely didn't live here, but they must have been terrified so I let them in. They were all similar in size, and looked like pomeranian puppies with that short, dense hair. There was even an all gray one that was particularly striking. A few more dogs made their way to the back door, and I was about to let them in when I looked up and saw a terrible site. A fourth wave was heading right for us. I quickly slid open the door, dropped to my knees and shoved in the remaining dogs before slamming the door shut and locking it, as if that would save us. But somehow, as the wave inched closer, it seemed to shrink down, and by the time it hit, a few inches of water merely seeped through the bottom of the door, with no horrible impact.

When the water receded, I noticed that a few new creatures had joined our presence. Lying helpless on the floor, they were smaller, slimy, with a dingy gray coloring. They were newborn elephants. Yes I know that real newborn elephants are much larger, but these dream baby elephants were palm sized. They must have gotten swept in with the last wave, and had managed not to drown. Afraid that someone would see them and sell these marvelous minis for profit, I put them in a shoebox with some soft bits of cloth and closed the lid.

And then I woke up. Crazy, how little sense any of it made. Just thought I'd share.

Classical Thursday

I was listening to classical music on the radio driving home last night. Why? Because it's beautiful and people don't listen to it enough. I was tuned to WXXI Classical on 91.5. The introduction to the next piece had already played when I turned the car on, so there was no way to know who or what I was listening to, but it was beautiful. I spent the whole twenty minute car ride thinking I was listening to one very lengthy concerto, but as it turns out, it was a carefully selected collection of pieces performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The radio playlists are posted online, so I could find out exactly what I was listening to. Now I will always want to have somewhere to drive between 8:00 and 10:00 pm on Thursdays.

Little Rascals

Nature is captivating. It holds great beauty and wonder. Sometimes it can even make you laugh. Yesterday I was biking in a nearby neighborhood when I spotted a squirrel. He was making a mad dash down the driveway of the house he had just come from, and running kind of funny. As I got closer, I realized why. He was carrying an enormous (for a squirrel) tomato in it's jaws. I quickly put two and two together, and wanted to yell out "squirrel robbery!" to the unfortunate family whose garden had just been burgled by this sneaky squirrel. The tomato must have been four times the size of the squirrel's head. If I had been stealthy enough to snap a photo I would have, but this squirrel climbed right up the tree with the tomato clenched between its teeth.

That same day, I learned something new about chipmunks. They like pizza. I was sitting on the back patio with my mom, when I saw two chipmunks darting around the walkway near my feet. One was just a baby, and ran behind my feet, stopping for a few moments behind my left heel. Young but brave. I was so shocked by this young chipmunk's bravery, I wondered if it would dare eating right out of my hand. I grabbed a piece of pizza crust from  my mom's plate, and tossed small chunks around my feet to entice the chipmunks to come closer. Their patience outlasted my own. Once I'd gone back to chatting with my mom, however, I glimpsed the older one sneak  a few of the pizza bits that were furthest from where we were sitting.
Pizza snack. Am I too close?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Add a Banana

If I coud have chocolate cake for breakfast every morning, I'd be the happiest girl in the world, but I would also become the heaviest. I made brownies at ten o-'clock last night  because I had an unshakable craving. Since my sister is on a gluten free diet and my mom doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, it's between me and my grandpa to finish a whole pan of brownies. Now I am faced with the challenge of limiting myself to a reasonable brownie allotment per day. It would be much easier if I could have just made a single serving brownie last night when I had the craving, but that's not how the world works. I made it from a box, so I had to make a whole batch.

This morning I tried to give my breakfast brownie a healthy twist. I dished out a smaller brownie and cut up an entire banana to eat along with it. Only problem is, there is only one more banana in the kitchen...

Downpour on Park Ave

This weekend has not been a good one for the Park Ave Fest. The hot weather no doubt deterred some festival goers from taking to the streets. Strolling down Park Ave with two friends on Sunday, we admitted that we wouldn't mind getting hit with a little rain to cool us down. Little did we know what mother nature had in store.

We began to feel some light drops on our shoulders, and relished the refreshing sensation. A local band called Teagan and the Tweeds was set to perform at the festival, and the three of us were making our way to the stage after purchasing some locally made cereal. About halfway to the music venue the sky opened up, and we had no chance at staying dry. We quickened our pace, but by the time we made it to the music tent, we were soaked. The tent was in a parking lot behind a restaurant, and the ground quickly became flooded. The rain continued to intensify, and lightning inched its way closer with each strike. It would have been a fantastic experience to jam out to some good music in the middle of a downpour, but after a few minutes of the relentless rain, the band thought better of it and packed up their instruments. Apparently they DIDN'T want to get electrocuted. What a shame...

We weren't the only patrons who had hoped for a stormy serenade, but if anyone hoped to hear the band play at future venues, they probably made the right call by packing up early.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Elizabethan Insults

I was going through old folders from high school today, trying to clear out some junk that I really have no use for. That's when I came across this hilarious list of old school insults. My English teacher was preparing us to begin reading a Shakespeare piece, and included this list to ease our tensions about delving into such heavy material. The print quality is spotty, so I retyped it rather than trying to scan the original:

Find yourself tempted to say f--- and damn too often? The Elizabethan equivalents are much more fun and don't make parents with children glare at you in restaurants. You could say fie or you could swear by God's teeth or wounds
Combine one word from each of the three columns below, prefaced with "Thou...":

artless                          basecourting                 apple-john
bawdy                          bat-fowling                    baggage
beslubbering              beef-witted                    barnacle
bootless                      beetled-headed             bladder
churlish                       boil-brained                   boar-pig
cockered                     clapper-clawed              bugbear
clouted                        clay-brained                  bum-bailey
craven                         common-kissing           canker-blossom
currish                        crook-pated                   clack-dish
dankish                       dismal-dreaming          clotpole
dissembling               dizzy-eyed                      coxcomb
droning                       doghearted                    codpiece
errant                          dread-bolted                 death-token
fawning                       earth-vexing                  dewberry
fobbing                       elf-skinned                     flap-dragon
froward                      fat-kidneyed                   flax-wench
frothy                         fen-sucked                      flirt-gill
gleeking                     flap-mouthed                 foot-licker
goatish                       fly-bitten                         fustilarian
gorbellied                  folly-fallen                      giglet
impertinent               fool-born                        gudgeon
infection                     full-gorged                     haggard
jarring                        guts-griping                   harpy
loggerheaded            half-faced                        hedge-pig
lumpish                     hasty-witted                   horn-beast
mammering              hedge-born                     hugger-mugger
mangled                    hell-hated                        jolthead
mewling                    idle-headed                     lewdster
paunchy                    ill-breeding                     lout
pribbling                  ill-nurtured                     maggot-pie
puking                      knotty-pated                   malt-worm
puny                          milk-livered                    mammet
qualing                     motley-minded               measle
rank                          onion-eyed                      minnow
reeky                        plume-plucked               miscreant
roguish                    pottle-deep                      moldwarp
ruttish                     pox-marked                     mummble-news
saucy                        reeling-ripe                     nut-hook
spleeny                    rough-hewn                    pigeon-egg
spongy                     rude-growing                 pignut
surly                        rump-fed                         puttock
tottering                 shard-borne                    pumpion
unmuzzled              sheep-biting                   ratsbane
vain                         spur-galled                      scut

Your insult vocabulary just increased tremendously. Try having an insult battle now, thou bootless motley-minded hugger-mugger!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doggie Dessert

There is a great ice cream place just around the corner from my house, and I go there with my family after dinner pretty regularly in the summer. The other night we had just gotten our ice cream and were standing near the car enjoying our frozen treats. I watched as a middle aged man in athletic shorts and a muscle T ordered two dishes of ice cream and headed back to his car. I followed his movements, as my curiosity took hold. He was walking over to a pickup truck that did not appear to have anyone else in it.

Was he going to eat two dishes of ice cream by himself?

Then I saw a black dog poke its head out of the rear window. No way; did he order ice cream for his dog?

My mom speculated perhaps there was a kid in the backseat that we couldn't see, but a few seconds later, my suspicion was confirmed. The man let his dog out of the car and set one of the dishes on the ground. That dog went to town on that dish of ice cream like he hadn't eaten in days. He must have been a really good dog that day. Maybe he chased out a burglar