amplitude and abundance*

The stall is unattended.  Some days, like yesterday, it’s all tomatoes. Other days, it’s a mix of giant zuchinni, yellow squash, peppers, and yeah, tomatoes.  You pull up into the dusty lot, step out of the car into the heat, and the smell and the taste of tomatoes envelopes you.

There are two handwritten notes attached to the metal moneybox. One apologizes in advance for nibbles by wandering deer. The other explains that the stand is closed on Wednesdays, in solidarity with the farmer’s market.

Sometimes you have to find the bowl of the scale that’s blown off into the weeds or down the sidewalk, sometimes the bags are all gone. But the one thing that seems constant is that the box is stuffed with money, you have to work a little to push your dollars into the slot. You realize then that you are paying for two things, really: the divinity of fresh tomatoes, as well as the chance to prove you can be trusted.

*Post title from Pablo Neruda’s Oda al Tomate (English translation)

Success in failure

In the time I’ve lived at this house, one thing I’ve not done at all is landscaping or yard work, other than basic mowing and weed eating. Partly because I couldn’t afford it, partly because I didn’t have the time, but mostly because I wasn’t inspired yet.  My usual pattern with big projects, for interiors or exteriors, is to do nothing until I figure out the best path of action. That usually takes a long time but I trust the process.  I’ve learned the hard way, too.  I’m such a circular thinker that if I don’t wait at first,  I’ll start things on an impulse, then a different impulse takes over and I’ll either abandon it or it morphs into something I don’t like anymore and I get hopelessly frustrated. It’s best to get my brain out of the way and let the space teach me what to do with it.

I’ve finally settled on what to do in the front yard. I knew all along that I wouldn’t be keeping the manicured turf grass that came with the house.  Water’s becoming more precious by the minute around here, we pay a fortune for it, and anyone who uses it to keep turf grass alive is an idiot. I’ll be replacing it with a combination of native grass, limestone and river pebbles, and stepping stones in paths and wider paved patches, with larger native plants in groupings. I’m still sketching; I’ll start the heavy work in the cooler weather, then plant in the spring.  I won’t get it done all at once, so I’m leaving the brown grass to hold the soil.

The sage above is the one plant I’ve put in the soil since moving here. Like me, it’s a transplant from the failed marriage. Not long before things went south, the ex and I had put a bunch of them in at the old place.  I took some with me when I moved out, this was the only one that survived, and I’ll attest that it’s thrived largely on neglect. This is the fullest set of blooms it’s ever had, result of a couple of welcome rain showers a few weeks ago.  With everything around burned and dried to a crisp, the luscious purple is heartening, reminding me to be patient.

Ten things right now that don’t suck

1.    Mardi gras beads

2.    500Gb external hd

3.    La Calavera coffee cup

4.    Pangea Organics lotion

5.    Adequate hydration

6.    Examples of heroism

7.    iPod (old school)

8.    Giant mega super stapler

9.    Huge window w/great view

10.  Trusty MB Pro

Steve, you can’t spell cynical without an “i”

So my current phone plan ends today. Not that anyone cares really, but for the record I’m not in line with the rest of the kewl kids @ the Apple Store.

For almost a year now, I’ve had a little counter on my MacBook’s Dashboard, titled “iPhone Buy date.” I was glad to skip the first iPhone rollouts but was definitely interested in replacing my aging (already?!) Blackberry 8700G with one when my current plan ended. See, despite all I’d read to the contrary, I was in denial and thought somehow, some way, Apple would see the light re: the Faustian bargain they made by handcuffing themselves to the the Chimp’s favorite telecom lapdog.

Well, that didn’t happen, and yeah….frankly, I was stupid to think it would.

On the other hand, the Blackberry Bold is hardly sloppy seconds. I’ll get back to you when I actually get one next month, but so far, it’s looking good.

They said it would be called the Bold. Photos suggested that it would be the sexiest thing to come out of Canada since Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

Plus,  T-Mobile is still not cooperating with warrantless wiretapping. At least not here in the US, anyway…

Cartoon: Jimmy MarguliesThe Record of Hackensack, NJ

Found poetry blogging: The Searchers, pt 2

Yesterday’s search terms, another narrative in free verse:

gay pride in czechoslovakia

American gothic

sailor tattoos

what are your eyes made of?

she got the money

lesley gore

proper sweeping of the floor


youre doing it wrong

Pootie doesn’t live here anymore

99° in the shade today. 101° heat index.

It’s almost dark here and the temp has dropped a bit. The animals and I are stirring after a few hours of zoning out enjoying the synergy of the AC and ceiling fan. Doing some low-energy mulitasking, knocking out some laundry and dishes.  All while waiting for some chicken to marinate.

Worked at Job 2 yesterday and today. Trying to wring some weekend out of this tail end of a Sunday night by making some lo mein and catching up on this week’s DVR harvest.

It’s been just a few weeks shy of two years since I moved in. One more time, I realize I’m starting to recognize this place as home.

Poetry blogging: The Searchers

Yesterday’s Search Terms, a narrative in verse
free blackberry radio
sailor tattoos
blackberry radio free
van cat
she got the money
she’s got the honey
she’s got the money
i got the money and she’s got the honey
blackberry free radio

Hot hike

Went on a hike yesterday morning on some new land recently obtained by the City of Austin Water Quality Protection program. For the most part, it was a great hike and the acreage is gorgeous. About three/quarters of the way through, on our way back, I got overheated during an uphill climb across a ridge. Not heat exhaustion or anything too serious, just way too freaking hot, and I’d have to say it was my fault for not pacing myself and trying to go too fast. The last leg of the hike was therefore pretty tough, and I was embarrassed and angry at myself to boot. I wasn’t the only casualty — a college student got into some fire ants and had a bad allergic reaction and a fellow Master Naturalist hurt his back pretty bad. We couldn’t just stop, though. There was no way out except to hike it.

Overall, still a good day though.

It threatened rain in the morning but didn’t deliver much, just enough to make it hot and muggy.

Canopy, from on high.

Classic upland grassy savannah.

… Is this thing on?

Wow, this place looks a lot like a blog I used to have. It’s been so long since I posted though, I’m just not sure.

I fell off the internets, and they drove off without me.

An unexpected power outage on Saturday left about half the town, including me, without power for about an hour. When the power came back on, I couldn’t get back on the internet. I tried the usual tweaks, to no avail.

1) I have satellite broadband, so if things go completely kaput, there’s a limit to what I can fix by myself.

2) I live in a tiny town (it’s actually a village. No, really.) up in the hills and my internet provider is a small company run by just a couple of folks. Nice guys, but things don’t happen fast.

The sun set Saturday evening on a place with no broadband. Like Willie said,

“I wandered through the darkness, my footsteps were unsure.

I lived within a world that had no sunshine.”

Actually, I just had to resort to watching television, going outside … talking on the phone … reading …

I even had to socialize. Twice. With real, live people!

Three and half days passed. Long, but mostly uninteresting, story short, I got my reprogrammed router back from my provider yesterday. Just in time for First Draft‘s Indiana/North Carolina primary Crack Van. Six Hours in the Crack Den, waiting for the votes from Gary. (Sung to the tune of “Six Days on the Road.”) You know, really, ya’ll… I will vote for the Democratic nominee and all, no matter what…but with all my heart, I wish HRC would stand the fuck down. I also wish the MSM would do the honorable thing, shoot itself into the sun, and that a living, breathing real free press would arise from its ashes.

Yeah. So, anyway the tubes are back on here at casa virgo.

Houston (on everything)


The good:

Steve fuckin’ Earle. Crappy venue, spotty turnout, drunken howling audience members but he brought it on every damn song, and and he and Allison Moorer dissed the administration and the Republicans and the media at every available opportunity.

The tzatziki at Niko Niko’s

2 out of 3 margaritas at King Biscuit

Catching up on the Eschacon lowdown

Poodle ear plush

racy’s 3 a.m. riff on subprime lending

The bad:

The constant humidity.

Verizon Wireless theatre.

Concert-goers at the above-named venue. Austin and New York have spoiled me. It felt like we’d somehow stumbled into a suburban Baptist church


The ugly:

My hair. See “humidity,” above. I completely gave up on making it behave and just worked the Scrooge McDuck look.

The comma-brows of the woman RM was girl-watchin’ on the patio. Also her boyfriend’s golf visor. Just.Do.Not.Understand straight girls sometimes…

(For the Terry Allen-impaired, reference for the post title)