Jabberwocky for 2001 August

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: Yesterday I spent most of the day on a trip to Los Angeles. Karen Nations went with me and we went to the David Hockney retrospective at LAMOCA. We didn't have time to see much of the rest before it closed and they threw us out, but I was amazed to see an old Jackson Pollack canvas. It is the same painting I bought Dad a jigsaw puzzle of for Christmas one year when I was a little girl-- streaks of every color splashed onto a black background. He never forgave me for buying him the puzzle and muttered the whole time he was putting it together.

I was hoping to buy a poster of a Hockney work, but no such luck. They had no posters whatsoever in the gift shop, can you believe it? The did have some fairly bizarre things, including a sloppily sewn felt handbag for $210! I bought a bumper sticker that says "Don't Be a Jerk."

After the Museum, Karen and I went to Chinatown and had a very nice meal at the Golden Dragon and then windowshopped for a while. We decided that the Los Angeles Chinatown is so much nicer than San Francisco's because it's not a tourist trap. (surprise!) I bought a package of plastic turtles for Atticus and a pack of ginseng gum. I couldn't get Karen to try the gum.

Rachel's flight got in after 9 p.m., but they had lost her luggage in Houston and put it on a later flight so we didn't get away from the airport until almost 11, which put us home at 1 a.m. Karen fell asleep on the way home, but when I opened the sunroof to get some air she jerked into wakefullness and tried to pretend she hadn't been.

Today I opened a new bank account, bought some groceries, and worked on the fishpond. The thing that has been holding the fishpond project up is the partially dead Chinese elm tree, wound with dead grapevines, that leans over it. It was a real job to untangle that mess, clip the dead branches and vines, and drag everything out of the yard. As I suspected, the pond excavation was filled with litter and leaves by the time I was finished. I cleaned it out, laid the underliner and liner and filled it, but I have a little leak somewhere so I will have to investigate tomorrow when it is light. Hooked up the spitter to aquarium tubing using little teeny radiator hose clamps I got from Pioneer Hardware to repair the front porch fountain. It works well, but now another trip to Pioneer Hardware will be necessary.

In the interest of our new and improved financial austerity program I decided to try to freeze fruit juice in ice cube trays and make smoothies in the blender. The pina colada smoothies I made tonight turned out really delicious, so hopefully I'll get Rachel out of the Jamba Juice habit. I meant to buy some tofu to blend into them, but I forgot, so they were perhaps better than future smoothies will be.

: How to Kill a Fish (With apologies to Martha Stewart)

1. Plan his new habitat for months while he lives in a crystal punchbowl on the kitchen counter.

2. Buy only the very best rubber pond liner and spend all weekend dragging and spreading it, pleating around the edges.

3. Lift a lot of heavy bricks to make pond edging. (Be sure to manicure all fingernails first).

4. Learn the Latin names for a lot of sedge plants.

5. Obtain special hose clamps from the auto parts store to connect tubes, filters, and whimsical turtle spitter.

6. Visit the nursery to get waterlillies and Egyptian papyrus.

7. Drain it, take it apart, do it over.

8. Fill with fresh water mixed with aloe vera fish stress reliever and ecological startup powder.

9. Wring yourself off, go into house to announce to fish that his new home is prepared.

10. Find him gasping and floating on his back.

: Not much going on here. I started scrapbooking this summer's pictures. Also I read Driving Mr. Albert which I will now send to Leonard. It's a travelogue, not quite as interesting as those of ours of course, but the author didn't have our raw material. Only Einstein's brain in a Tupperware.

: I've been in Utah for a reunion of my great-grandfather's descendants. The shindig was put on by descendants of Uncle David, and was quite heavy on displaying their talents. Susie criticized me for taking so many pictures of the "talent." Next year, Justin and I are going to be in charge in California. I hope it's as much fun as the last beach bash Justin put on, oh, maybe six years ago. Susanna and I drove up to Bear Lake after her Friday class and camped at Bear Lake with Jonathan and his girls. At the KOA. Right by the highway, and I didn't sleep well. I was trying very hard not to be cranky because we got thoroughly lost trying to find the park where the dinner was and I didn't eat until about 8:30 p.m, and the whole thing messed up my medication schedule. However, Ray Oman sang the dead skunk song, accompanied on his accordian, and that was worth something. I felt better after sleeping in some and taking a hot shower. Breakfast was sweetrolls and canteloupe. There went the blood sugar. Sharon and I ditched the midday trip to the lake and went antiquing through Idaho. We found one hospital auxiliary store in Montpelier where they were having a bag sale-- everything you could stuff in a bag for $5-- so we cleaned up. I also got a counted cross-stitch sampler that says "Dull women have immaculate houses" for $.20. I re-donated the picture frame it was in. I would like to have an immaculate house, but not at the price of being a dull woman.

Back in Provo, it began to dawn upon me that nobody was going to take care of Susanna when she gets her teeth out if I didn't stay. Aly had gone off to Canada to Dave's family; she was my only reliable possibility. Therefore, I changed my ticket for Friday, and I've been mostly following S. around. They had cleaning checks scheduled for today, so I cleaned a bathroom and helped S. clean the stove. Nobody ever taught any of these girls how to clean. My mother would have been appalled. I actually had to clean out the toilet with my pocket knife. The brush I bought at the Orem WalMart did nothing for the buildup. (Note to self: Bleach knife. Run through dishwasher when I get home.) I tried to teach one of Susie's roommates how to get the soap scum off the tub and shower. It was so thick I had them scraping it with a pancake turner. I gave up and went to bed about midnight, leaving them scraping. This morning the girl hadn't even done an adequate job on the washbasin. S. had scraped a lot of scale out of the tub, but she has even not reached the Lower Devonian. I think I'll clean that bathroom tomorrow after her surgery and buy them some of that continuous clean spray stuff. The mystery is, who will use it if I buy it?

: Arrrgh. The big story I wrote about where I am and what I am doing didn't add to my page, and now, no time, no time.

: I forgot to note that I'm writing this at the BYU computer lab-- such a place did not exist when I was a student here. They just had a mainframe.

: Up at dawn to go to the airport. When I got there, I found the incompetent airline reservation agent had booked me for YESTERDAY! Bother. Fortunately for me, a woman had forgotten her relative's baby shower and wanted to change her ticket, so I got her place into Las Vegas; then it was easy to catch a flight to Los Angeles. Came home, greeted pets, took a nap, finished "The Clan of the Cave Bear" (OK, I know it's about 20 years old, but I've only read one of the series -- I don't read much fiction.) I made split pea soup and some white bread and put the sourdough out to do its thing so I can make some sourdough bowls to serve the soup in tomorrow or Sunday. R. and I took Gretel for about a two mile walk. Paid bills. Made a bingo in netscrabble with the word "baddies". Figure that one out. I think I'll eat some freshly baked bread and go to bed. The white Angel's Trumpet is blooming-- or trying to at any rate. Rachel did not give adequate water while I was gone. Not her fault; I suppose I should have demonstrated just how much plants need in this zillion degree weather. I'm worried about the windmill palm.

: Jellybean won't let me out of her sight.

: Sigh. I spent ALL DAY yesterday working on the ward calendar. I think I finally have the thing whipped into some shape where it won't take me so long every week. Between that and cooking -- I've been cooking!-- I only got two scrapbook pages done. I'm in the middle of last Christmas. Last night I made a Star Bright page and a Sydney's First Christmas page. Wesley died inexpliciably while we were at church, so when Gretel and I go to PetsMart today to get her a new 50 lb. bag of dog food, we need to also get a new betta. I think I'm going to hold off on new fish for the pond until I get the tree trimed further and the filters cleaned. Quasimodo is happy in there alone and he is sharking around. I need to also resove the aborted attempt to surround the pond with the occasional planter brick because Gretel just digs them up. Mousetraps? Note to self: Ask Jill Langley to give me some algae snails. Off to the bank and the grocery store.

: I had the darndest thing happen to me. Actually, I was kind of waiting for it to happen, because it happens every year, but this year was different. Every year about this time I get frantic calls from the college, sometimes from three different departments, wanting me to just take a class or two because the students are hanging from the chandeliers and they are too cheap to hire more profs. Well, last night I said yes, so I started back today at my old job, teaching Basic Writing Development for the umpteen zillionth time. I just go in twice a week for two hours. It should be fun. Odella hinted very strongly that maybe I should do a Reading 62 class for her too, but I told her no, I can only do one class. (Never mind the fact that one semester I did Reading 62 full time and h-a-t-e-d it!) Debbie actually asked me to do a math course for Winter Semester. (Who does she think she is kidding????) Anyhow, it was really fun to be back at the college, getting hugs from old friends and seeing the students floundering around campus all lost. After a summer of the campus being like the Twilight Zone, the City picked this week-- the first week of school-- to tear up Mt. Vernon Ave., and have construction and orange cones all over the place. How smart is that? I got fresh asphalt splattered on my car, grrrr. I made arrangements with Cindy and Hillary to have lunch together every Wednesday, and Marlene is going to come over on Tuesdays and Thursdays to crash before her night class, so maybe I won't be too "empty nested" once Rachel leaves. Rachel and I need to plan a trip to San Francisco -- I want to see the Ansel Adams 100th birthday exhibit at SFMOMA and Cats will be there on a revival for a short time next month. The only problem is the best time for Leonardw is the weekend Rachel has to move into her dorm at UC Riverside. I actually would rather go to Aida, but it ends September 1 and I don't know if we can get away that soon.


© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.