Natural things.

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We’ve been having some spectacularly weathery weather  here in the flatlands of CA this spring, and it makes me so happy!  I love seeing those big, black clouds piling up on the horizon and building until they take over the sky and rain pours down.  Love it.  I was thinking about why I feel so much happier seeing dark clouds on the horizon rather than the nice cute puffy white ones or clear blue skies with whispy threads of white.  This morning, it came to me:  they remind me of home.  The dark, tall, hulking shapes on the horizon are like the mountains I grew up with, and miss every day.  So seeing those big, black rainclouds in the distance is like being surrounded by friends and family.  Yes, I do consider my mountains friends and family, thank you very much!

We went to the arboretum last week right as a storm front was charging up, and it was so wonderful.  Piles and piles of clouds of every description sailing across the sky, crowding out the blue more and more as the day went on.  Bliss, it was.  Plus, surrounded by nature and all kinds of green, growing things and dozens of butterflies really lifted my spirits.  Sometimes I feel kind of disassociated in the arboretum here, for a few reasons that I won’t go into here (big stuff requiring separate blog posts, really).  It’s close to the freeway, for one thing, and if there’s one thing I despise its the freeway.  I hate the roar of all those cars, hate it with every fiber of my being, and it’s not easy to let the visual beauty of the arboretum distract me from that aural ugliness.  But last week it did, and I had a lot of fun taking pictures and watching Z play.  Image

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Oh the misery

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of snot.  Spring has sprung here. Well, it’s been springing for about a month now, what with the pear blossoms bustin’ out all over in early February and such.  And that means snot.  Fountains of it. Stupid allergies.  Stupid allergies that turn into full blown colds not two weeks apart.

Last night was when the snot started.  I had some fun thing planned with Zener, but no.  I was definitely not leaving the house, as I needed to stay within 2 meters of the electric tea kettle at all times.  (Aside: I first met electric auto shut-off tea kettles when I was an exchange student at the U of Edinburgh.  Most brilliant device ever!)  So instead of going to a concert of early music (my fave!) we hung out and watched many science videos.

Here are a few awesome selections:

Bots of Both Worlds in 3-D!!!!

Part of a series of videos produced by the fine folks at jet propulsion laboratory to promote the Spitzer Space telescope.  We’ve seen all of these, several times.  They’re so nerdily wonderful!  For more, click that link down there.

http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/videos/irrelevant/

Ever wanted to know how special relativity is related to electromagnetism? With charged cat cartoon demos?  Sure you do!

And then we watched the new Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and then we watched Nova’s recent show on alien worlds detected by Kepler.  So much awesome!

A wee rant regarding silly grownups. And the awesomeness of cosplay.

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I’ll be using some strong language here, so I’ll put my rant under a cut.

I’m practicing expansive-mind-ness.  Well, trying to at any rate.  The main, kind of silly, trigger today was a post from my “friend” on fb linking to this hilarity:

http://kotaku.com/one-mans-terrible-cosplay-makes-the-internet-a-bette-1542023841

fswu46o1negbsltngz1t

She snarked:  “This is what all cosplay looks like to me.”

Here there be “colorful metaphors” and rantiness…

Read the rest of this entry

Friends vs. kids’ birthdays.

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I’ve been thinking about friends and friendship quite a bit these last couple of weeks.  One of the main reasons is that Zener’s birthday is coming up and I’m not sure who to invite from his class, if anyone.  To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been invited to one birthday party for kids in his class this year.  Not one.

He’s had invitations from other kids who weren’t in his class.  He’s had plenty of invitations from kids here at the apartment complex.

But not one from any kid in his class.

He doesn’t seem to notice or care, but I do, and it breaks my heart.

So I need to let go of that.  The 30 kids in his class do not constitute the totality of the world of kids.  He does have friends, some very close ones, here at home.

And heck, that means his birthday party can be so much simpler if we don’t have to invite a ton of kids!  Score!

I’ve been trying to work out how we can have his traditional birthday in the park, which used to be for a bunch of the kids in his class, but each year attendance dribbled down until last year there were only 3 other kids at his birthday.  I was getting so worried about having the party in the park and my ex- girlfriend showing up uninvited and having to deal with all of that nonsense.

The solution is so simple and elegant – no party in the park!  We’ll just have a little do here at the apartments and invite all the kids who live here and a couple of kids from his class who probably won’t be able or willing to come anyway.

Everything’s shiny, captain!