Monday, June 6, 2011

Gardening = Terror?

Saturday, I took a break from studying and spent some time in the garden. I mucked out the pond (and found teenie tiny baby goldfish!!!) and planted some flower seeds. At one point I was digging around the base of a tree with a hand trowel, wanting to make a space for some shade flowers. I'm stabbing away at the dirt and, suddenly, this THING popped out of the ground like it was on a damned spring and almost splatted into my chest. Thankfully I have ninja-like reflexes developed from a lifetime of being highly anxious and tweaky, so I was able to throw myself back while shouting like an idiot.

This horrible ball of slime is what sprang out at me:

It was the exact size of a chicken egg, covered in 1/2 inch thick layer of slime, and smelled terrible. I thought I had dug up an alien baby. I was not happy that my serene garden contained such horrors. I knew Dani wouldn't believe me if I simply described it to her, so I scooped it up on my trowel and carried it into the house. She was taking a nap, but this was too important for sleep! Her reaction was: what the crap is that? Is it alive? How about you put that outside? 

I plopped it onto the front porch and, in the interest of science, I cut it open. That little bastard was as hard as a rock. It also released a hideous stench once it was sliced into. It took being putrid very seriously.

I have no idea what the crap this thing is, which means I need to hit the internet. I'm guessing if it truly is not an alien baby that is about to sprout tentacles at me, then it is probably a fungus of some kind. I get on Google images and type in the most unfortunate series of words, bringing up pictures I should have never seen, wish I could erase from my brain, and will probably alter my psyche forever. Things like mucus, eggs, slime, gross, fungus, etc. It was a bad idea.

Finally, I discover that my unholy friend is a stinkhorn "egg" or fruiting body. How interesting is that? It's deliberately nasty to attract flies, and the adult stinkhorn looks disturbingly like a phallus with some kind of terrifying STD. 

Of course I had to show the girls. They were delighted and yelled, "GROOOOOSS!" and poked it with sticks. Then I put it in a bowl on the porch and forgot about it until today. I went to dump it out and saw that it has grown. AHHH! It's still alive! It's trying to reach for me! And it's slimier! I don't like nature anymore!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bike for coolness

Dani and I have very recently bought bikes. My last bike was trashed (by me, on purpose) a year ago. I had bought it at a large chain department store for super cheap. So what I got was a super cheap bike. As in, it was TERRIBLE. It was heavier than a car, the gearshift locked up, the brakes squealed despite everything I did - and what finally made me go crazy and bust it up and throw it away was that every time I rode it and had to shift gears - the stupid chain would spin right off. So I'd be pounding up a steep hill, attempt to shift, and suddenly I'm pedaling against zero resistance and I have a dramatic fall to the ground. FURY I tell you.

I wanted to like bikes. I wanted to ride my bike to work every day and be a good-for-the-earth citizen. But hell no.

But Dani *really* wanted a bike, and the idea seemed more attractive as time went on, so she bought one for me because she's awesome like that. Now I have a nice bike. A *very* nice bike. As in, it's bloody expensive and it's rugged and manly and wants to crush you under its thick, mountain-bike tire treads. I love to ride it. It's like the wind. And the frame is delightfully feather-light. I look for excuses to zip around the block on it.

What's funny is that, all of sudden, I have unintentionally joined the Cool Bike Kid Club. A dread-locked about-to-be-a-Cambodian-missionary dude went into spasms at the sight of my bike. That I could understand. But today I rode to the local farmer's market (I'm such a goddamned hipster now), and this old man with an impressively huge bristly beard and large dirty overalls ran up to it to gush over it like it was a prize race horse. He takes his cigar out and drawls, "Now thiiiiiiiiis is an expensive bike!" And then he touched it in a way that made me uncomfortable.

I feel like I'd better educate myself on bike etiquette and bike secret handshakes and bike winks and nods and accessories. I don't want the Bike Club police to realize I'm an outsider and take me down in some vicious bike gang back-alley murder. Bike riding is intense, yo.