Made in America

Self is made in America.

Her writing self got its start with Doreen, but she was honed by Stanford.  And by what she read here, in America.

Pardon these discursive thoughts, dear blog readers.

It is raining.

Yesterday, self made it from her house all the way down to Courthouse Square.  My, the walk felt good!  It was a beautiful day.

Today, she got only as far as the Whole Foods Store on El Camino, at the corner of Jefferson Ave.  She had a hummus and green salad lunch, and read the Chronicle (Stanford’s men’s basketball team, alas, is performing very poorly)  After lunch, she walked back home and continued planting.  She opened a huge box that came from Santa Rosa Gardens (There was a sale for Fine Gardening subscribers:  20% off!)  Self ordered five hostas.  She didn’t expect such a huge box.  Also, the box contained a “Nematode Certificate of Inspection for Shipping Nursery Stock to California.”  The certificate went:

This is to certify that the nursery stock or plant material in this shipment meets the requirements of California quarantines (C.A.C. Section 3252, 3263, 3264, 3271, 282).

Self discovered that her hostas originated in Florida!  How very interesting.

When it began to rain, self decided to quit (though she has been known to garden in pouring rain).  Back at her desk, she began to browse a site she discovered earlier today:

She loved looking at the photographs of miniature gardens (Apparently, more people in the United States are getting into miniature gardens.  Self would like to use the expression “spreading like wildfire” but in the absence of actual statistics, self must tone down her observations).

There is a section called “Made in America.”  It’s our patriotic duty, dear blog readers, as citizens of a country laid low by recession and by an imbalance of trade relationships:  We manufacture our goods overseas so that we can buy back these goods at higher prices —  Bwah ha ha!  Meanwhile, so many of us are out of work.

Well, enough of the handwringing.  All self is saying is:  It would be a good idea, before plunking down money, to determine where the item or items being purchased were made (Self will bet 90.99% will say “Made in China.”  No need to feel sorry for the Chinese because they are at the moment kicking our butts — economically)

Self loves the metal signs that express such sentiments as “Life is Good” ($49.99), and the “Star Gazing Bunny” ($64) and the sandstone planters and the graceful wooden bird houses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 4:48 pm: Three Things

Self is sinfully dipping a teaspoon into a jar of hot fudge.  She bought it just this afternoon, at Whole Foods on Jefferson and El Camino.

More than likely, she’ll have finished the whole jar by the time the husband gets home.

Wouldn’t you know, she also has a weakness for salty food.  Like Ritz crackers.  She can eat a whole stack in one sitting.

Finally, self managed, after innumerable tries, to get The Ancient One on her feet for her annual physical.  She peed in self’s car, all over the leash, all over self’s hands and jeans.  The vet had to draw blood to run some tests.  The bill for everything, including a two-week supply of The Ancient One’s pain medication (for her arthritic joints) was over $200.

Why does it never occur to self that her own neck and shoulder pain should be treated by her doctor?

Afterwards, The Ancient One flopped on the kitchen floor, totally worn out.  Her brand new lime green doggie bed was only a foot away, but she ignored it in favor of the linoleum:

The Ancient One had a trying afternoon at the vet. The doctor had to take a blood and urine sample, and in order to do so, The Ancient One had to be placed on her back, a position she absolutely detests.

The Ancient One has a new doggie bed, but she prefers the old, filthy one, which was covered with pee stains.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Still the First Wednesday Post-Washington DC Trip: No Longer Cleaning the House

The house is reasonably clean.  That is, the living room doesn’t have any dog hair balls.  But now self notices that the hardwood floor is badly in need of refurbishing.  And the house plants by the window facing the street look a little peaked.

Instead of cleaning further, self will water (Later, when it cools down a bit).  And then she will do laundry.

Self did a couple of errands, which took her to Menlo Park (Guy Plumbing & Fixtures, El Camino Real; the dry-cleaner’s), then to Sequoia Station in Redwood City, where she:

  • Looked up Yasmina Reza’s novels in Barnes & Noble:  nope, they don’t carry any of them (Self knows of two)
  • Went to Safeway and bought a bag of mesquite charcoal briquets in preparation for next week’s visit of sole fruit of her loins (She also bought four huge avocados:  $5 for 4.  Self loves these, mashed with evaporated milk and drizzled with sugar.  BTW, there goes self’s diet!)

Self discovered that Safeway no longer stocks The New York Times.  This presents a small problem because now she will have to get her Times from either:  a)  Starbucks, and they only carry about five copies a day:  If self doesn’t go early enough in the morning, they are usually sold out; or  b) Whole Foods, which she has avoided like the plague since getting back from Bacolod, because the cake display is right by the entrance (!!!@@##)

Well, self does make it to Whole Foods.  She believes she deserves a pat on the back for restricting herself to buying only one small dessert (fruit tart), which she is saving for the husband.

And then she opens the Times, and in short order discovers the following:

  • The name of Michelle Obama’s initiative to counter childhood obesity is “Let’s Move.”  The whole country is very admiring of how slender the Obama girls are, and we are constantly reminded of this by Mrs. Obama’s emphasis on how unhealthy fat kids are.  Not to mention:  un-attractive.  Self speaks from personal experience because she was once a Fat Kid herself.  And she had no dates in high school.  Though that may have more to do with the “nerd” factor than with her weight.
  • The Kurds, according to an article by J. Michael Kennedy (p. A6), “are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state.”

Here are the countries featured in the rest of the “International News”:  China (missing persons; a British national dying in Chongqing under suspicious circumstances), Palestine, and Egypt.

Self is mighty interested in the case of the dead British national.  His body was cremated before post-mortem, his friends described him as a “light” drinker (even though Chinese authorities attributed his death to “excessive alcohol consumption”), and the prime suspect is a local politician’s wife, who the British national had inadvertently angered by – – – doing what, exactly?  Self reads almost to the last paragraph, and she never discovers what the British guy did to make the wife of the local Chinese official so angry, angry enough to want to murder him.

And then there is an article about the trial of the Norwegian mass murderer.  Thankfully, this doesn’t show him raising his fist in some kind of Nazi-like salute, which self finds extremely sickening.  In some photos, he is even smirking.  But she has only the utmost respect for the Norwegians, who did not “tighten up” their security restrictions in the aftermath of the tragedy, even though the number of murder victims (77) is horrifically large, particularly for a country whose entire population is only 5 million.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Whole Foods, RWC: No Halloween Pumpkins

Self waited until the rain and wind abated somewhat, around 4 p.m., and then she ventured to the library (which had  —  OMG  —  10 copies of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, not even Gone with the Wind has that many copies, though perhaps that is not an apt comparison:  perhaps self should have checked The Da Vinci Code)

After that, self ventured to Whole Foods, feeling a strange urge to buy pumpkins.  And there were no pumpkins that self could see (except a few strewn here and there for decoration).  But, perhaps it was stupid of self to search in Whole Foods for pumpkins; perhaps she should have stuck with good ol’ Safeway, across the street.  But aside from the pumpkins, self wanted to buy some really impressive breakfast pastries and croissants (with which to impress Dear Bro, of course), and for that she was willing to splurge a little.  Hence, the decision to shop at Whole Foods rather than Safeway.

But, really:  no pumpkins?  Only a few cupcakes with orange icing?  A display of Boo chips?  Some small plastic tubs of orange and black “all natural” candy?  A few pumpkin pies?  That’s it?  What kind of store is this?

Self ended up buying a quart of Odwallah lemonade ($4.99) and some herbal cough drops to mail to son (who’s had a wicked cold, the past week), and a couple of croissants.  Bill came out to $25.02.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Bone-Chilling (October) Saturday & a Hilarious Website

Why do the weather newscasters never warn us when to expect a weekend of blustery, bone-chilling wind?  You can be sure that when they say it will be hot and sweltering, it won’t be.  And when they say it will be cool, that’s when it will be hot and sweltering.

Today, self’s hands and lips are sooo chapped. She and hubby went to see “The Invention of Lying” at the downtown Century 20 (Five Stars! Ricky Gervais killed! Also, there is a short appearance by Edward Norton, and what’s so cool about his one scene is that it’s not immediately apparent that it is Ed Norton — I looked up the movie on IMDB, and after scrolling down a seemingly endless list of actors and actresses, I thought I’d made a mistake. But no, there was his name: the very last on the list, and even then the entry says only “uncredited, unconfirmed.” What convinced self that it was indeed he was the voice. — Edward, hurry up and make more movies! Self misses you!).  Self nearly froze on the walk from the car to the theater (Very interesting: there were hardly any people in the audience, but of the few hardy souls who were there for the first screening of the day, two were deep into books, and one was using the Read the rest of this entry »

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