Archive for ‘Huh’

May 16, 2018

What alien snatched my brain?

by Janie Jones

So, a very weird thing happened a little while ago.

I was walking down a long empty hall with a slight ramp.  Suddenly, I had this giddy urge to run as hard as I could.

I NEVER have the urge to run.

An alien body snatcher must have stolen the real me.

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March 5, 2018

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

by Janie Jones

I like fortune cookies, with or without the fortune.

For New Years Leif and I got together with some friends and had a stir-fry themed meal.  Leif makes some rockin’ Chinese, I tell you what.  He does it all: all manner of stir-fries, egg rolls, miso soup (which is technically Japanese I guess), egg-drop soup, hot and sour soup (which I don’t like, but I have on good authority from friends that he does quite well), even spring rolls.  One thing he doesn’t do is fortune cookies.  So I buy a box of them at the grocery store, ’cause you gotta have fortune cookies when you eat Chinese.

Anyway, I still had several in the cupboard, and as I like them just for eating regardless, I’ve been tossing the leftovers in my lunchbox from time to time.

Today’s fortune said:  Good news will come to you by mail.

And what do you think?  I received my acceptance letter to grad school today.

Hmm.  A fortune cookie fortune that could actually be considered accurate.

To bad it wasn’t:  You will receive a large and unexpected windfall of cash today.  I might have been accepted to grad school, but I have no idea how I will make this work.

 

 

March 17, 2016

Erin go bragh

by Janie Jones

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Now, normally everyone would celebrate by embracing the color green, but, according to my March 2015 Better Homes & Gardens magazine (which I didn’t read until well past last year’s St. Patrick’s Day, and have been saving this tidbit ever since), prior to 1798 the original color of St. Patrick’s day was blue.

blue shamrocks-edit

Just doesn’t seem the same, does it?  However, there is apparently a type of shamrock that does have blue flowers:

 

Parochetus communis, aka africanus

Shamrock Pea, Blue Oxalis

January 10, 2016

Ottoman Upholstery

by Janie Jones

I actually enjoy giving old stuff a face lift and making it beautiful again.  While I don’t like being called a dumpster diver, some of my favorite furniture pieces were things people were going to throw away just because they had a rip in the fabric or were outdated.

About eight years ago I inherited an ottoman that some people were going to throw away.  It was covered in a beige vinyl faux-leather and had been in a flood so it was discolored and moldy.  But it was sturdy so I peeled off the vinyl and underneath it looked like brand new wood with nary a hint of decay or warping.  I put on new batting, a pillow top and some new beige fabric with a pretty burgundy and gold braided trim.  I even hammered in some decorative upholstery tacks.  It was lovely.  For about two days.  Then the spud, aged 3 and a half, scribbled on it in black magic marker.  I got some of it out.  Then she pulled off the braided trim.  Then I cried, put it in the basement and figured some day I would try again.

When I moved to the Big City in the fall of 2014, I brought it with me to use in my room in town.  But it was ugly.  Last year after Christmas I splurged and bought some new blue velvet foot stools and the ugly ottoman was relegated to the living room with all the ugly, beat up, old furniture left by the owners for common use.  However, I have been meaning ever since I moved to town to fix it up.  First I thought I’d just buy a slip cover.  But they seemed ridiculously expensive, and none were appealing.  So this winter break I determined to reupholster it.  Yesterday, armed with a 40% off coupon I went to the fabric store and found a lovely caramel-color wide wale chenille corduroy fabric.  I got enough to cover the whole ottoman for less than $6 (slip covers tend to run for at least $30, by the way), paid about $3 for a box of staples, and reused the batting, pillow topper, and some of the decorative upholstery tacks from before.  In about an hour the ottoman was transformed.  A decorative throw from Ecuador (a gift from a friend) on top makes it look amazing.

Ottoman Before

The sad, pathetic ottoman destroyed by the Spud.

Ottman After 4

Pay no attention to the ugly sofas in the back ground. …

 

Ottman After 5

Ooohh. Aahhhh. What a lovely ottoman you have, Janie.

And, to think:  Someone was going to throw this ottoman away, when all it took was a little thrifty shopping, an hour or so of time and less than $10 total for supplies to make it beautiful.  Some people….

January 6, 2016

Do you ever wonder?

by Janie Jones

So I have a class this spring where I have to read some historical fiction novels about epidemics. To hopefully ease into the spring semester, I read one of the books already. It is “Nemesis” by Philip Roth.

As literature goes, it was okay. Not great, but okay. I liked the first half pretty well, but then the author does something with the main character I did not particularly like. Whatever. It was a short book and read quickly.

What did stand out though was that throughout the novel, which is set in during WWII, the characters refer to Frigidaires. Not refrigerators, but Frigidaires. Now, where I come from we pronounce Frigidaire as fridge-id-air. However, though I am familiar with the brand, I don’t recall ever actually seeing a Frigidaire brand refrigerator in anyone’s home before. Weird? Yeah, probably.

I have often wondered why where I grew up people called refrigerators “fridges” despite the fact that it’s not really short for refrigerator. For as long as I can remember I would try to phonetically spell refrigerator as refridgerator even though there’s no “d” in refrigerator. Although I know this now, I still sometimes try to spell it that way. But, since reading this book I wonder if the slang “fridge” didn’t come from a bastardization of Frigidaire instead of refrigerator.

So, are you all wondering why the H-E double hockey sticks I am babbling on about this?

Good question.

I have no good answer. I’ve just been thinking about it.

December 23, 2015

A little biochemistry on the brain

by Janie Jones

You know you’ve been studying a little too much when you start seeing obscure science-y stuff in every day life.

Take this advertisement for boots I got in my email:

WINTER AND SNOW BOOTS

 

I don’t know why the company calls itself UGG Australia.  But after 16 weeks of biochemistry, genetics and virology, when I see UGG my mind immediately goes to the DNA sequence abbreviation for Uracil, Guanine, Guanine which is the codon for the amino acid tryptophan.  But that’s just me.

16 weeks earlier, my mind would just have gone from UGG to ugg-ly.  And that context is perhaps more fitting.

 

November 2, 2015

Well, now that was $5 bucks that didn’t go to waste…

by Janie Jones

Well folks, it’s the end of an era.

One of my two vintage alarm clocks went dead.  I don’t know what happened to mine personally (it might be buried in the spud’s room at the farm) but I inherited a similar one from my ex.  Mine was purchased somewhere circa 1980s and had a small faux walnut case with red digital numbers, and I suspect the ex’s was of a similar vintage.

I remember when my mother bought it for me.  It was the year my parents bought their first house.  I was almost done with seventh grade, so I’d have been 13 I think.  I was kinda disappointed because I wanted one like my grandparents had.  You boomers remember these?

vintage alarm clock

I was fascinated by how the numbers would flip.  I also wanted a radio alarm instead of that hideous beep the cheap alarms made.

I cannot tell you how I hated that beep.  I developed an honest to Pete anxiety trigger to it.  It got so bad that if I’d hear that alarm sound anywhere at any time my heart would race and I’d start to panic.  So when DVD players became affordable, many years later, I bought a new alarm clock with a CD player that I could set to wake up to a certain CD.  Oh, that was like waking up to a whole new world.

But.  There’s always a but isn’t there?  I actually grew to like the red number readout.  Over the intervening years no matter how many different alarm clocks I’ve been through, I always kept my first alarm clock with the red numbers just as a clock.  When I moved to my tiny room in the Big City, I went back to using the red number alarm clock I inherited from the ex as a clock by my bed (but now I use my cell phone with a pleasant, cheerful chime with bird chirping in the background to wake me) because it shed less harsh ambient light but was easy to see without glasses or contacts.

Finally, after some 30-35 years of service, however, it ceased to keep time.  It has no moving parts, and runs on electricity, so I ‘m not sure what wore out.  Maybe some circuit finally degraded.  It had been not very accurate for a week or so, slowly losing time so I had to re-set it frequently.  Then, the time discrepancy got greater and greater until finally, when I came home from the farm it was so far off the time it was useless.  I had to unplug it and throw it away.

Oddly, I feel sort of lost now.  No red numbers to warn me of the time through out the night when up for trips to the bathroom, no numbers to comfort me with the knowledge that I have two more hours before wake up.  No more of old reliable who I once hated then came to prefer.

*Sigh*  Life is strange.

But, I see I could get a replacement with one of those retro flip number alarm clocks that always fascinated me…