Thursday, June 26, 2003

I am going to avoid making blog comments about HP 5 until Iris has completed it, and even then I think I'm going to figure out how to program spoiler code. It shouldn't be that hard - just changing the color of the font so it's invisible unless selected.

Nevertheless Iris' garden cleaning methods do remind me of de-gnoming gardens in Chamber of Secrets. The de-gnoming process involves taking the gnomes by the leg and swinging them around and around until they get dizzy and then let go so they fly out of the garden.

Life... I don't have class again until Monday... Monday, the 25th of August... in California. I told a former professor of mine that I was switching universities. She wished me good luck and said, "Personally, I think moving is the worst event in human life, but then I've neither given birth nor died."

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled on Lawrence vs. Texas. Consensual sex is apparently no longer a crime in the United States of America.

From the NYT version of the AP article (I didn't link it because registration is required):

Although the majority opinion said the case did not "involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter,'' Scalia said the ruling invites laws allowing gay marriage.

``This reasoning leaves on shaky, pretty shaky grounds, state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples,'' Scalia wrote.

Poor Justice Scalia. How very shocking. Can anyone logically and coherently explain to me why civil gay marriage is so threatening? I understand why right-wing religious groups would prefer same-sex marriage not to be permitted in religious ceremonies within those right-wing movements. The "because G-d said so" argument is valid in religious contexts. A free government in which church and state are separated, however, cannot base its legal judgments solely on the opinions of the church(es).

I'll be absent from the blog for the next several days - back in the Poconos, with family this time. Erica, if you're reading this, you may be interested to know that we'll be about twenty minutes from Stroudsburg.

Sister Iris!!!!!

How could you ? I am shocked and horrified by your bunker blowing tactics. I shudder to think what those poor groundhogs went through in the last moments of their lives. All for some cabbages and beans and silly flowers. What do you think they are...the Viethog.....digging endless tunnels under your garden, plotting in evil ways to devour your precious produce ? You may find it funny, but I have to say I find your methods abhorrent, there must be a more humane way of getting rid of these creatures. Can't you lure them into eating poisonous turnips or something ?! I for one could even squash a fly or spider, let alone blow away a groundhog.

As for HP5. Well, I won't reveal anything, as you seem not to have started yet.I am ambivalent about the book. There are things about it I like a lot, and others that I find very uncomfortable. Maybe because they are so close to real life as many people experience it. I am thinking of the Ministry here.I can't decide what I feel about it. I also found some bits a bit self evident and therefore a bit over stated in the book. What do you think Sister Andrea ?

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Strike, Counter-Strike

While I was at work this weekend, the rest of the family decided it was time to wage war on the ground hogs. Ever since the neighbor's German short hair pointer passed away, the ground hogs have have slowly accumulating territory, creeping ever closer to the flower beds and ultimately taking up residence inside the back vegetable garden, which has been fallow for a year. Well not anymore. With the amount of corn, beans and squash we're planting this year, we needed the back garden again.

But first the hogs had to go. Mom found one lumbering along the driveway that was larger than a good sized Beagle, which was pretty disconcerting. So my little brother suggested an old technique his boss has taught him down at the lawn and garden store:

Take one gallon gasoline, mix with four gallons water.
Pour down groundhog hole.
Light Match
Drop very very carefully down hole.
Run like your pants are on fire... so your pants don't catch on fire.

The hole was blown up, or imploded actually, which some amazing pyrontechnic affects, and some almost-singed eyebrows. Judging by the hawk hanging around yesterday, something must have been inside it at the time of the attack, but like Iraq, the rebuilding of the garden has just begun. The ground hogs or their friends the rabbits appeared to have counterattacked last night, eating all of our beautiful new sweet pea plants before they even started climbing the fence. We've added some reinforced chicken wire to the upper garden, but we may resort to a stake out with a pellet gun if the sabotage doesn't abate.

To do my part in protecting the plants, I made Scarecrows for both the front and back garden. The scarecrow out front is outfitted in green denim jeans and an ancient guess jean shirt of mine from middle school. Both straw-hands hold big aluminium pie saucers which bang in the wind, and on the pantyhose head there's a bat man baseball cap and some more pie pans. I think she looks pretty much like i do when i'm out in the garden, though i have a big straw hat on, not a baseball cap. The two scarecrows in back aren't half as cool, just a broom corn dowel tied to a bamboo rod and with a pie pan and multiple bird scare streamers. I'm hoping these clanging monsters will keep the birds and the critters out of the garden, at least until the fam gets back from the wedding.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Just read Vivian Vande Velde's book Dragon's Bait while wasting time at work. Very short, but a fun little read if you have a spare hour or so. My only disappointment was that it wasn't longer.

Waiting till later to read HP, because of its dangerous side effects: paralysis, loss of hearing, inability to remove fingers from pages, and frequent fits of laughter. Besides, I'm supposed to be doing supposedly important things, like make dinner.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

My apartment has a new inhabitant. It is about ten inches long, plush, cuddly, white, and if you hold it to your nose and say, "What a cute little bunny-wunny," it will eat you. This inhabitant, of course, is none other than the Rabbit with Big Pointy Teeth well known to those who have seen the grisly attack at Caerbannog in the classic tragedy of errors Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The Rabbit comes with a handbook, providing excerpts from the most precious Book of Bloody Nasty Beasts that speak of this marvel. I quote a passage from the treasured book here:

In truth, this fearsome creature hath but two natural enemies. The first being the three legged weasels of Bath and Wells, and the second being that mooste blessed Holy relic of destructionne, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, given by God into the hands of his loyal servant, St Attila. Itte is a blessing to me that I maye honor such a saint in the Abbey he founded, and take pleasure in the chaste architecture, and the holy blackjack tables. And with with what pious joy do I enjoye the company of the holy masseuse! All praise to great Attila.

Oooooh, a yellow cover? Must resist Urge to Buy British Version of HP5.. The blue cover is the kiddy version of the cover, because HP4 over here was green and gold.. Anyway, the blue cover looks cool and spooky, which is what this book is, as far as I know.

Don't worry, I have no spoilers to tell, I'm only on page five. My family wouldn't let me take the book to work, and the garden takes precedence over everything, because we'll be gone for the second half of the week. I put in ten watermelon plants this evening after work.. only seventy more days till the harvest, which reminds me I have a full grown melon in the basement still waiting to be eaten. Life is good.

Has anyone else reading the NYtimes magazine noticed that both Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have lost weight? I wonder if they are in the same support group: Society of Politically Active Men, otherwise known as SPAM.

My Dear Nuns,

I knew HP would appear on the Blogg. But my HP is YELLOW, glowing orange and red too. What sort of colour is blue for a phoenix ? Oh, don't tell me Amazon sent you a 'grown up cover' version ? I simply think that if you are reading a kids book, then let it look like one.

My HP5 has been standing on my shelf since yesterday morning. I haven't touched it. I spent yesterday finishing off an essay, went shopping for a birthday gift and watching a video, avidly avoiding the HP5. Today I spent the morning making a Pavlova ( meringue nest filled with cream and strawberries) and didn't touch HP5. I am scared of HP5 because once I start reading I won't be able to stop. And once I'm done with it, I'll probably start all over again.

My flatmate Laura is currently in Norwich doing some fieldwork (human geography is her subject). That is, she is supposed to be doing her fieldwork. Instead, she rushed off yesterday morning, got HP5 and phoned in the afternoon saying she had got half way through and had done no work. I think she was secretly hoping that I was furiously reading and then she would have felt better about shirking.

There was a review in the paper this morning. I averted my eyes. I was afraid that this blogg would be full of revealing details. I am relieved.

I think I will finally break down later in the day..................

Sister Fashioner