Friday, April 28, 2006

Longing for a Green Thumb

In hopes of seeing actual live green shoots spring from the soil, I planted a little herb garden today. Parsley, basil, coriander, and thyme...

I'm 95% sure nothing will ever emerge except perhaps a little mold. This is usually what happens when I attempt to grow herbs, flowers, you name it from seed. And if I buy a plant already living it tends to die within a matter of weeks.

Mostly I stick to cut flowers. They last only a few days, but they are glorious days. Especially where irises are concerned.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Give me (more) drugs, man

Just about 13 1/2 months ago, I wrote this post about buying Sudafed-type products at CVS. Doing so involved a tedious process of visiting the pharmacy window and subjecting myself to monitoring by state officials tracking drug fabrication.

Now, 13 1/2 months later, I am suffering a similar sinus-related illness. To put it bluntly, I feel like someone has shoved tightly-packed cotten balls up my nose until they filled every possible crevice underneath my eyes and in my nostrils. This is an extremely unpleasant feeling.

However, if one wishes to buy Sudafed-type products on a Sunday so as to alleviate this feeling, one is, of course, S.O.L. The pharmacy is closed and there is no one behind the counter to record every last iota of your personal data and then relinquish the drugs to you.

So yesterday I had to find some other remedy that would sufficiently clear my nasal passages so as to allow me to fall asleep last night. Evidently, Comtrex does not contain the evil Pseudoephedrine and therefore does not need to be locked up behind the pharmacy counter away from all of us frenzied crystal meth-producers. The real question was, would it work?

I did fall asleep last night but did not wake up improved by any measure. Oh well, I guess I can't expect miracles, especially from over-the-counter medications so benign as to be deemed unworthy as ingredients in popular recipes for illegal recreational stimulants.

What will be most interesting will be to see whether or not I can manage to breathe and talk at the same time as I deliever my presentation in class this afternoon. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Live and let dye

Even though I had no real reason to do it (especially since the chances of having a hunt this afternoon are slim to none, what with severe thunderstorms ripping through Chicagoland), I decided to dye eggs Friday night. My mom had sent me a box of Paas egg dyes, so what else could I do, let them go to waste? Not an option.

Besides, I like hard-boiled eggs, particularly when they are mixed with tuna and vegetables in a Nicoise-like salad. I'm not sure I'll be able to eat a dozen before they go bad in the next 3 days, but whatever.

These pictures give you an idea of the process itself and the final results. I made the obvious discovery that the eggs take on a much more rich hue when left longer in the dye. This is something I never really let myself discover as a child because I was always too impatient and couldn't resist pulling them out after 5 minutes.

Nevertheless, it was fun and festive. And isn't that what Easter is really all about, the chocolate and the Bunny and the sacred multi-colored eggs?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Going Clipless

I still don't feel like a true cyclist, but I suppose I took one step closer to becoming one when I bought these shoes last weekend. For the uninitiated, that big hunk of red plastic on the bottom is the cleat, the piece that snaps into the pedal and therefore essentially locks your foot to the bike.

Isn't that a bit scary? you might ask. And it is, but not really all that much more than shoving your toes into plastc nets at the front of the pedals, which is what I was doing up until now. Plus these shoes just look so darn bad ass, I manage to ignore the fear.

Of course this is probably because, so far, I've only done one ride with these babies on. And I didn't find myself in any situation where a quick stop and foot plant was required. It's almost inevitable that I will at some point be forced to slam on the breaks, at which point I will panic, forget how to free my feet from the pedals, and tip over sideways. Maybe after this rite of passage, I will be able to call myself a true cyclist.

p.s. What's really difficult to do in these shoes is walk. They're slick as ice on the bottom and the cleats force your toes skyward. I'm worried I might do more harm to myself wearing these off the bike as opposed to on it.