Sunday, October 30, 2011

Popcorn and Earwigs

For dinner?  Movie theater popcorn.  So much movie theater popcorn that it constituted dinner.  This weekend has been, for the most part, a gastronomic abomination.  Friday, I made an Indian vegetable curry, and the recipe called for 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.  We're big fans of the cayenne, but 1 1/2 teaspoons sounded ridiculous, so I cut it in half.  Dinner was ready, and inedible, at 8pm.  I've seen Matthew plow through a seriously-4-star-spicy Pad Thai, and even he couldn't handle the heat of this curry.  So.  I decided to fridge it and try to un-spice-ify it the next day.  That day turned into today, when I added the rest of a bag of frozen peas and a can of coconut milk AND served it over rice.  Still, terrible. Threw it out. It was the first food I can remember throwing away in the history of my life.  It was sad.  (Less tragic was the coleslaw I made yesterday.  I'm posting the recipe here.)

Given our small, too-hot curry lunch, we were pretty hungry when we arrived to see Puss in Boots and devoured a large tub and a half of popcorn between the three of us. That's right. We got that free refill. So, we saw the film, and it wasn't bad for a Shrek spin-off, though I was hoping for a little more cat-person humor (Matthew says there was a lot of it, but I wanted more-- that's the kind of girl I am...). The movie made me want to pet cats.  It made me miss Roger, which was nice, because he was being such a punk before we left that I thought I might let him loose in the back yard.  I came home liking him again.

I have no transition into earwigs, so I'm bringing them up like this: Did you know that earwigs might actually crawl into your ear (according to Wikipedia)?  I mean, it's just as likely that a centipede or spider would crawl up into your mental business, but knowing that an earwig, specifically, would do it, too, creeped me the junk out.  The name earwig is from Old English, "ear insect," because they were thought to crawl into your ears (I got that info from Wikipedia, too, but I studied Old English, so I could've looked it up in a book if I wanted to, and am thereby OK using Wikipedia as a source.).  Anyway, the other morning I woke up and one of my pillows was on the floor.  On the pillow was an earwig carcass.  It seemed an empty shell, so I was trying to figure out if they shed their skins. I couldn't actually make it through all of the information/images to find out.  It made me ill.  Not cool, earwig. Not cool.

Our new house had all sorts of awful creatures running around it when we moved in, but with the persistent vacuuming of centipedes and setting free of spiders, their numbers are significantly dwindling.  We have lots of squirrels, bunnies, and chipmunks in the backyard.  A few weeks after move-in, a chipmunk slipped through the backdoor when we took the trash out.  After a pretty intense panic, Carter and I locked the cat in another room and trapped the little chipmunk in a corner of the bathroom, luring him into a box with peanut butter.  When we brought the box outside to set him free, he seemed pretty content to stay with the peanut butter.  I had to jostle him up a bit to get him moving.

I like that we live in a neighborhood where a chipmunk might mistake our house for a place he'd like to be.  We are so close to everything wonderful here.  We're a block away from Lake Monona on the Near East side of Madison.  If you're not familiar with the Willy St. area, there is a fantastic grocery store, the Willy St. Co-op with a sign on the door that says "Barefoot is OK, but at your own risk."  I buy everything I need in bulk.  They just repaved the streets and the sidewalks now have poetry etched into them.  I can walk or ride my bicycle downtown super-fast and have 4 bakeries within 6 blocks of my house.  Carter can walk to school and his friends' houses.  The neighborhood is pretty wonderful.  The house is pretty wonderful.  Even if the cat won't catch earwigs, he's pretty all-right, too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How did I get here?

I have to have a blog.

I got a twitter account because I had to, but it was a boring place to be, so I never went back. I sign up for all sorts of things just to see what they're about, or because I have to, but then I get bored. For the record, things I "have to" do, generally bore me. It's why I can't write poems sometimes. Sometimes, I think, "Man, I really have to start writing poems!" and then I can't: Boring! Instead of writing, I will:

crochet an afghan,


take pictures of my cat,

or start a blog.



When I was a kid, Uncle Don would say, "Ang, you better not lick that wall!" and I would immediately lick the wall. When Uncle Don said, "You better go to the bathroom before we hit the road," I'd hold it for hours. He called me "Goose," because I was silly like a goose. My other childhood nicknames include: Moonie (because of my large, round face/head. Also, I was bald until I was about 5) and Spuds (like the potato, also because of my round, bald head).

I won't get bored on this blog, though, even if I have to be here, because I love writing. And I love teaching. And I'm told by various internet resources that it's easier to get a job teaching "in this day and age" if you know a thing or two about technology and can prove it. So, here's to proving it.

Of course, I'm "connected" and "friended" (and "proficient in Microsoft Office applications"), but it's harder to be one person online than it is in real life. So many great poets I know have poet websites that mention nothing about their personhood and the many great things they do. Are people interested in poets only as poets and not as people? I like that poets are people. But perhaps I am in the minority.

So, this is the place for all of that. I will talk about the strange state of poet/personhood, the curry I had for dinner, my new frankincense and myrrh candle, the poem I'm trying to write while my son is talking to me about the next-best Lego whatever that's so much cooler than last month's version of the exact same thing, or the baby booties (find the pattern here) I made for my brand new twin nieces. I'll talk about things I'm reading and art I love. I'll link to my favorite etsy stores, friends' pages, recipes, poems...

Each post will be a glut of things that matter to me that day. Honestly. As in, for real. As in, I don't care if it's not hip to talk about my kid at this poetry reading, he keeps getting texts from girls and someone needs to know about it. As in, oh, right, PTG, I need to toss in this Anne Sexton reference, because it's the only analogy that makes sense right now.

It's the end of the day, and I'm tired of keeping the me's apart. So, here they will converge.