Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Friday, October 31, 2014

As Garfield Once Said, "Candy, Candy, Candy, Candy, Candy!"

The autumn's first freeze is forecast for tonight.  I photographed my outdoor flowerpots earlier this summer, so I won't bother doing it again, but I might show you a picture of dead flowers tomorrow, if I think they're picturesque enough.

I've whined before (annoyingly often, probably) about how I've adapted to the heat of New Mexico and don't put up with cold very well any more.  (Not to mention snow.)  The first freeze is a good enough excuse for me to stay inside all weekend – but then I'd miss out on all the discounted Halloween candy!  (Talk about a real scare.)

I might talk myself into treating myself to a meal at my Chinese restaurant, and end up venturing out of the apartment after all.  I came up with the idea today.  (You're already familiar with my train of thought, but you're going to get it anyway.)

-- Gee, since my mechanic is away hunting, I won't do our usual eating-lunch-out-on-Friday's thing and save some money.
-- If you already expect to spend the money on eating out, why not do it?  You haven't had Chinese in a while.
-- But the portions are so large, I'd end up eating just the wonton soup and taking the entire entree home as leftovers.*  If I'm already expecting to put most of my meal into a styrofoam box, why not just order to go and read while I'm eating at home?
-- Because it's not really a treat if you're eating at home, is it?
-- Well, then I'm back to not going out, and saving money again.  I can't go out to dinner, anyway, because today's Halloween, and I actually had one group of trick-or-treaters last year, and I don't want to miss them if they come back today.^
-- Okay, then, eat out on Saturday instead.  Besides, having leftovers means you're getting more than one meal for the money.
-- But it will be cooooold.
-- You can't come up with a better excuse than that?

Speaking of excuses, here are ways to prod myself outside tomorrow.
1) Discounted candy at my grocery store.  (Also discounted Boo Berry cereal.)
2) Discounted candy at the discount store next to my grocery store.
3) Flu shot.
4) Discounted candy at same drug store where flu shot is.
5) Drug store is walking distance, so I can burn calories while bringing home my candy.
6) Chinese restaurant.
7) Discounted candy at the discount store (different chain) next to my Chinese restaurant.

Do you sense a theme here?

* Seriously.  The "small" portion of wonton soup is a full bowl, not a cup.  It is enough to satisfy my stomach.
^ I did need to walk to the library, or else be bookless tonight, so if they came before 5 p.m., I missed them.

Only Children over 18 Permitted

I was idle today, monitoring my crew's work.  I should say that my body was idle; my brain was fully engaged.  It wasn't thinking about work, though.

The crew lead was trying to think of a way to ditch one of the temp's on their way to lunch.  He pondered telling the temp they would go to a different restaurant than they really were heading for.  It sounded to me like the plot of a children's story:  "Scrumpy and the Snipe Hunt".  ("Scrumpy" is the nickname for the temp.)

It doesn't really have a kiddy-lit feel to it, does it?  Oh, well, that's just my snarky sense of humor.  It could be funny, in an adult way.  The next episode in the series I thought of would be titled "Scrumpy and the Snowplow".  (I haven't thought of what would befall Scrumpy, but it would be kind of like a Mister Bill episode.)  The series finale would be called "Scrumpy Gets a Snake Bite".  Do you think I should go for something more subtle?  How about "Scrumpy Develops a Cough"?

I also contemplated another story -- a real, children's story this time.  As one of my crew used the weedwhacker near some surplus, playground parts, I thought of how he was almost small enough to play on that equipment.  His story would  be called "Playtime for Mohamad".  I think it will be a simple story.  "This is Mohamad.  Mohamad builds playgrounds.  Build, Mohamad.  Build."  Eventually, the playground is finished.  But, before the children are allowed on it, it must be tested for safety.  Who better to test it than Mohamad?  "Whee!"

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Bird in the Hand

I don't want to bore you with owl talk, but I do want to share some of the owl items I bought while thrift shopping this weekend.  I followed the advice of Thing One's mom (moms must be obeyed) and bought only the owls that are unique.  Figurines and wall hangings are all over the place.  This item is not.
Yes, that is a pincushion at the base, and, believe it or not, the eyeglasses really are the handles of sewing scissors.  I probably won't see another one like this as long as I live.  (If Thing One finds out anything for me about the cooky jar, I'll share that picture with the info.)

Incidentally, I stopped by an ATM before our sojourn, since many thrift stores and elegant-junk stores don't accept credit or debit cards.  I won't say how much I withdrew, but I was surprised to see President Grant's face.  I've never seen an ATM dispense anything higher than a twenty before (and precious few that dispense anything but twenties).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

At Least I'm Not as Old as He Is

I spent the afternoon with the friend who likes going to flea markets, thrift stores, and elegant-junk stores.  I bought a New Mexico trivet (which will fit well with my "cheap New Mexican" office decor), and he mentioned that he had visited Carlsbad Caverns in 1969. When we went to the fair a few weeks ago, he said that he hadn't been on the skyride for 45 years.  (Man, he was a busy kid that year!)

What I want to know is, when did I reach the age that I have friends who can remember farther back than I've been alive?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Missing Out?

I saw an entry-level job posting for the Albuquerque library.  (It appears that all "real" librarians must have a master's degree.)  I decided against applying for it, despite the wonderful perk of being able to borrow any of their books for free.  ;)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pig Snouts

Many of the school playgrounds I have seen in the past week and a half are new, modular play structures.  (Those steel pipe jungle gyms over asphalt, which we played on, are no longer considered safe.)  Some of them incorporate climbing walls or ramps, of a few types.  One looks like this.

I think it looks like it's covered in pig snouts, or maybe noses from a Nick Park claymation film*.

One school has the only educational panels I've seen on a playground.
Yes, mistletoe is a flowering, higher plant, botanically speaking, but how many other states would even consider voting a parasite to be its official state flower?

Some play structures have steering wheels, so children can pretend to drive.  This one is a first for me, though.

I see the steering wheel on the right side of the dashboard, which makes me think it's from a country other than the U.S.A., but the gear shift resembles the American format.  Aren't gear shifts in other countries reversed, as the steering wheels are?  (If their cars look like this inside, maybe that explains why Oklahomans drive so badly.)

*I adore Wallace and Gromit, but my first exposure to Nick Park's talents was this short feature, which I saw in an animation festival during my early years in college.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Christmas in October

I went to see a college production of The Glass Menagerie last night.  I didn't need my jacket until after the show, so I opened my car door to put in on the back seat.  Imagine my surprise at seeing a plastic, grocery bag full of books on the back floor!

I had mentioned to my friend Betty that I was starting to look for Christmas gifts to buy.  I meant gifts for other people, not for myself!

Do you suppose Book Elves are at work?

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Yesterday was Saturday morning.  I honored the legacy of that day by putting a Scooby-Doo DVD into the player and settling onto the sofa with a bowl of cereal.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

And You Thought "Captain" Was My First Name

My latest assignment at work is to "evaluate" (not "inspect") playgrounds in the school district.  The total was divided among three people, so we might actually finish by next Friday's deadline.

Since the workday coincides with the school day, I often encounter students at recess.  (Yes, it is next to impossible to insp... check out play structures while they are swarming with monk... darling little children.)  Because of the hat I wear, some of them called me "Cowboy".  Yup, that's me:  Captain Cowboy Chlorophyll.

What puzzles me is, have they never seen someone wearing a hat before?  Actually, in this day and age, they probably don't recognize any headwear other than a baseball cap.  Now go away, kid.  You bother me.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Fair and... Cooler

I went to the NJ State Fair once, when it happened to be held in my hometown.  I walked around and saw (and smelled) animals, watched people go on expensive rides, passed by expensive food booths, and generally was unimpressed.  Thus, I haven't been to a state fair since.

A friend here in Tulsa* invited me this year.  I didn't intend to go, but the cable company included $2 off coupons in their latest bill (normal adult price of $10), and one of my employees said he'd give me a free go on the sky ride (normally $6), so, intent on not wasting discounts, I tagged along.

We watched people go on expensive rides.  We passed by expensive food booths.  (I did have a $2.50 hot dog, a $5 funnel cake, and a $4 candy apple, which I saved until tonight.)  We walked inside buildings set up for a flea market.  Finally, we entered the building where the art entries were displayed.  We determined that my employee was at neither end of the sky ride, so we didn't go on it.  We (thankfully) didn't look at or smell the animals, either.

When you think about it, the entry fee worked out to $2 an hour, which really isn't a bad deal.  It might have been a good place to people-watch, but I was too busy trying not to run into people and not be run into.  I felt smug about shopping around to find the cheapest funnel cakes and candy apples.  I had the hot dog because I refused to pay the exorbitant prices of other foods (why should I pay $7 or $8 for an Italian-Polish Sausage --that's what the sign said-- when I have hand-made kielbasa in my freezer at home?), or I was repelled by them.  Would you want to eat the PB&J Burger (Peanut butter, Bananas, and Jalapenos) or Moink Balls?  (You can guess for yourselves what they are.)

Overall, it was a way to kill an evening, a means to stretch my legs and get some exercise, and it didn't cool down too much while we were there.  (The temperatures dropped 20 degrees overnight, so I spent the rest of this weekend inside, afraid to go out into the cold.)  Still, I had to wear jeans and a jacket for the first time this autumn.  Most people think of fairs as celebrating the harvest, but I think of them as damn silly ways to welcome the coming winter.  On the bright side, we weren't conquered by giant vegetables...

* For a reason no one can explain to me, Tulsa hosts the Tulsa State Fair, which is not the official Oklahoma State Fair.  Oklahoma's a state, yes, but Tulsa isn't.  How can it be a "state fair" then?  (I chalk it up to the typical illogic of Tulsans.)

Saturday, October 04, 2014

I Now Know What Halloween Costume to Wear

Thanks to literature, movies, etc. we know how to kill vampires, werewolves, and other fictional creatures.  It's impossible to kill soap opera characters, though.

Going but Not Gone

When we had my mom's hearing tested, the audiologist said something I found interesting.  When someone loses his or her hearing, the "soft" consonants tend to go first.  For instance, "drag" and "brag" might sound the same.  I have noticed this type of hearing loss in myself.

My hearing isn't all going, though.  Last weekend, I thought I heard trickling water in the bathroom.  My sink faucet, tub spout, and shower head were completely dry, though.  Maybe I was imagining it.  Maybe I'm developing tinnitus*.  Maybe I can hear it only first thing in the morning on cool weekends, when no one is playing music or walking on creaky floorboards or flushing toilets or running air conditioners.

I kept hearing it through the week, though.  Plus, I thought it was getting louder.  I let the apartment manager know.  She said that there are three toilets in my building that are having problems.  Yes, it wasn't my imagination or failing hearing!

* Tinnitus is, loosely, a constant ringing (or other sound) in the ears.  Speaking of ringing getting louder...