22 September 2007

Love me some free Ryka shoes

I won! I won! I am the proud owner of a brand-new pair of Ryka shoes from the contest that is being promoted all over the Internets. They are giving away 50 pair of shoes every day for 50 days. Go over and enter. AFTER you read my post! Yeesh.

Today I was feeling kind of puny and thought some fresh air might do me good. I put on my new pink and "cashmere" (their color, not mine - my cashmere is black) shoes and took them out for their first walk. Here is a photo essay featuring ME SHOWING OFF MY NEW SHOES!

Got in the Bluemobile with Goldie. And my shoes:

Drove out to this combo bike/walk trail that is just lovely and only a couple miles away:

I - and my shoes - had to go off trail when Goldie wanted to hunt lizards. She caught one, too. What a big, brave dog, facing down those 6-inch lizards.

The trail is actually in the middle of some old oilfields. Check them - and my shoes - out. Even though I am a rabid environmentalist, I don't mind being in an industrial area: I come from an oilfield family (the working kind, not the owning kind). I was fed, clothed and sheltered for the first half of my life through my dad's labors in this industry, the same industry that makes it possible for you to drive and have plastic bags and nylon carpet and Jolly Jumpers and other wonderful stuff ok end of lecture bye.

There is sculpture along the trail. I guess the City figures you can get exercise and culture all at the same time. This daisy windmill is one of the pieces I like. I also like my shoes.

This is not the dog to which they were referring, but you should still beware of her. Doesn't she look fearsome?

At the end of a nice walk, a dog and a girl need a little rest on the cool lawn. My feet felt good in my new shoes, my head felt clearer, and the dog will sleep well tonight. All good. Especially the free shoes.

21 September 2007

Color me suspicious

The latest LA Times whale article.

Naval sonar testing resumed on Sept. 10, according to the Times. The first Ventura County dead blue whale was found on Sept. 14. The second one was yesterday.

And now they are towing it to a Naval base for necroscopy.


20 September 2007

The storm of PMS

There is a tendency to think of the strong emotions that we experience during PMS as "hormonal" or "bitchy" or somehow not as valid as our other emotions.

I think of it differently - my theory is that the hormonal storm of PMS blows our locked doors open, and feelings that we successfully hide all month come rushing out.

Twenty-something days a month we can swallow it and smile and make nice. But for a few days, mother nature takes over and strips us of our fake expressions and ROAR! We are women! Fear us!!

Another dead blue whale has been found off our shores.

Normally I would feel a little sad, shrug and move on. But it is That Special Time, so things are different.

I am ANGRY and UPSET and CRAZY and BEWILDERED. WTF is going on? These animals live from 40-80 years and they are endangered, with only 8,000-14,000 worldwide (before whaling, there were close to 300,000).

Why are there 2 dead in one week in the same place? I hope to God it isn't that sonar testing, and if it is, I hope some intrepid journalist digs up the evidence.

This is a live whale and calf.

Here is the link to the petition for the Navy to end their whale-killing sonar program again. Please sign it, link it, and pass it along.



And in other fairly appalling news, I have vestiges of the racist South, right here in my sidebar ads. Here's what the Wikipedia entry has to say:
When white South Carolina planters were unable to make their rice crops thrive, “slaves from West Africa’s rice region tutored planters in growing the crop.”[2] In the American South whites once commonly referred to elderly black men as uncle even though they were not blood relations. During the later 20th century this was considered patronizing and demeaning and was widely deprecated.
To be fair, when the Uncle Ben brand was established, such racist imagery was common in advertising (Aunt Jemima, anyone). And a few years ago, Uncle Ben was promoted to "chairman of the board." I just can't wait to meet some Fortune 500 CEOs so I can start calling them "Uncle" and "Aunt."

Aunt Pattie Woertz of the Fortune 500

19 September 2007

Even better than a dead whale

I did something today that I bet you didn't do. No, not the thing with the trampoline and the Chinese men's diving team - that is so last week.

No, today I harvested bananas!

Yes, I am lucky enough to live in one of the tiny little sections of the continental US that are semi-tropical enough for banana culture. My 2 banana trees are the Cardaba variety, also known as apple bananas. You don't see them in stores because they are short, fat, and bruise easily.

I took some to work and my Hawaiian co-worker almost cried with happiness. Apparently they are a Food From Home for her, something she never gets. THAT was cool.

I let the better part of 2 bunches (by which I mean bunches of about 60 bananas, not "hands" like you see in the grocery store) rot on the tree, simply from not noticing they were ripe. I mean, "Keeping track of banana ripeness" is just not on my daily schedule, usually. From now on, I promise to be more diligent.

Today I also went to the 99 cent store for some Halloween decorations. If you want to know where all the local crackheads hang out, apparently it is the 99 cent store. I saw 2 people doing the full on chicken-head thing, a lady who could have had a walk-on part in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and a guy wearing a turquoise spandex mini-dress. He was there the last time I went, too.

But I got some cool decorations. My favorite is a sign that looks like it is carved from stone that says "Asylum." Of course it is going up at work.

18 September 2007


One of the things I wish I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self is how hard it is to make friends as an adult, so you should definitely try and hang on to the ones you have.

I dunno why it seems so rare and wonderful to find someone who is willing and able to be your friend as a 40-something when it is SO EASY in high school. Kind of like dating, I guess. As you age, you become more and more selective, until you have done selected yourself out of the pool.

The pool! Funny you should mention the pool! Because my latest proto-friend, Mary, is someone I met at the pool.

She is a plant breeder (10 points in her favor). She is funny as hell (another 10 points). She loves dogs (5 points. Who DOESN'T love dogs? Only the most messed up of people).

But here is ultimate proof of her Fitness for FriendhoodTM:

The scene: Water Aerobics Class

Instructor (who never, ever, stops talking, and who is a Major Control Freak): I have had some complaints, so from now on, NO TALKING IN CLASS.
Mary, instantly, to me: Yeah, right. So what is going on with you?

We talked all through the rest of class. Quietly, in the back row. With the Instructor Wench glaring at us. We discussed the Unabomber, hair coloring, and the Dodgers. I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

17 September 2007

Unclear on the whole priorities thing

I don't really have a boob in this whole public breastfeeding issue.

As a committed non-reproducer and cranky old spinster, my breasts are really more of an annoyance than a feature...in fact, the other day when I found yet another lump (don't worry, I'm just cysty), I started considering having them removed to save the trouble of more rounds of mammos and biopsies (needle and otherwise).

But as a human, I suppose I have to root for the continuation of the human race, which means feeding the darn things. I was surprised to learn from David Wescott via IzzyMom that Facebook doesn't feel the same way - they apparently allow pro-anorexia groups on their site but not breastfeeding pictures.

"Starvation good, feeding babies bad?" Is that how it goes? THAT seems kind of sick.

I could go on about the sexism and anti-woman/anti-child bias implied by this decision, but you're smart enough to connect the dots. It's a small battle, but I think it connects to a lot of larger issues, ones that are important even for people who aren't women or who don't have children.


Go check Izzy's post. She has some good links.

16 September 2007

A Whale of a Good Time

Because my life is so much more fun and interesting than yours, I had the following conversation with my friends yesterday:

SB: Did you hear about the dead whale?
Friend 1: Yeah!!
Friend 2: We should go see it tomorrow after church.
All: Yeah!!

Yes, people, we actually made a date to go see a dead whale. We are THAT kind of cool.

And because my friends are 24-hour party people, they just could not wait until this afternoon to go see the whale. They actually went out at 2 a.m. in search of a 70-foot whale carcass, which proved surprisingly elusive. They never found the whale last night and we met up to go out today.

The first beach we stopped at was whale-carcass-free. We asked around and some surfers pointed us a few miles north. When we saw 2 giant yellow excavator machines, we knew we were there.

And when we got out of the Magic Bus and began gagging on the smell, we REALLY knew we were there. I mean the kind of "Oh help me Lord, I am going to lose my morning muffin RIGHT NOW" feeling. A 70-ton whale that has been sitting in the sun a few days...well, there ain't nothing else exactly like it.

We followed our noses down to the beach, hoping that our scent receptors would soon be overwhelmed and quit working so that we might stop feeling so pukish.

When we got down to the sand, a ranger and this very strange, perky woman informed us that the whale had already been buried. The perky woman (short curly hair, floral dress) took a little too too much pleasure in telling us how the whale had looked as the excavating machines flayed it into pieces small enough to bury.

When we extracted ourselves from that weird coversation, we hiked back up the hill to the car, both happy to be out of there so we could return to breathing normally, and disappointed that we had missed the spectacle.

Why did we go to see a large, dead mammal? I think because whales, dead or alive, give us a sense of awe. There is something sacred or magic in seeing that there are these giant, mysterious creatures sharing the planet with us, just a few miles away.

But though we missed the whale, it didn't miss us. For the rest of the day, the smell of dead whale floated around us like a disgusting, ghostly presence.


In honor of our departed cetacean friend, here is a petition to get the Navy to stop killing whales with their sonar (Though this whale was probably killed by a boat, many others beach themselves after sonar experiments). Please click the link and sign. These are magnificent mammals, and they deserve better than to be driven crazy or killed by loud underwater sounds. Thanks, Kevin Charnas.

I also watched the Dodgers win
(I was trying to perch "Think Blue" on my hands, but after standing in the sun and sweating for about 10 minutes, we gave up)

and took Goldie to the beach to chase birds

What did YOU do this weekend?
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