bintlog v2.0
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Um, March? Where did you go?
Tomorrow is MARCH 31. How did this happen?? I have finals in five weeks! I was in my first class after spring break yesterday morning, idly filling in some of the answers on the biochem practice test, and realized I didn't have a *clue* how to do them. It was like I'd never seen these things before (and some were questions from an exam I already aced!). Tryptophan? dipeptides? chi and psi angles? Didn't I know these things just two weeks ago? Ditto for my systematics class, where I wouldn't know an Amaryllidaceae if it bit me on the butt. So last night, I buckled down and started studying, with the soothing sounds of Prince of Persia in the background. Tonight I'm supposed to go to this CUPPA thing, but I don't really want to and I need to study for a quiz anyway.

I forgot - the amazing wonderful plant I've coveted since the Garden Show is now hanging from a chair in my breakfast nook! I'm not sure our house is warm enough for it. I am going to get an individual plant stand for it so it's easy to move, and then maybe wander the house with a thermometer and find the warmest spot. I am putting my money on the corner of the dining room by the chimney. Will take a picture of the plant and post as soon as I remember to do it. Oh, and the orchids from the Garden Show are still alive, mirabile dictu.

Daffodils are opening as of yesterday in the back yard. The crocuses in the back have been open about a week in an eye-searing burst of yellow and purple, and the purple crocuses up front finally made an appearance. We're hiring some guys to replace the front gutter, and then I can ponder relandscaping. Still not sure if I'll do it myself or hire someone. I love the thought of a professional design, but pride makes me want to attempt it myself. I spent some time last week yanking out armloads of vinca from the garage garden. Need to spread some mulch and peat back there because now the soil is exposed and quick to dry out, and just looks very unhealthy, grey and rocky, not like the dense clayey loam elsewhere. My silly little yard is a strange microcosm of habitats and soil types.

No new birds in the yard lately, although I think I saw a chipping sparrow over the weekend. The starlings are digging in the garden and flipping mulch all over the sidewalk. I know that they're considered a nuisance bird but I think starlings are a lot of fun to watch, and they eat bugs from the lawn. Still have not seen any chickadees since the West Nile wipeout.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Spring Break
Not much to report. I accepted the admission offer from UIC, but am quietly fretting about whether I forgot to submit some really crucial thing. I also tracked down and purchased one of the cool plants from the previous post; will put up a picture when it gets here!

I'm taking tomorrow off, but I don't know yet what I'm going to do. I probably should just take advantage of the rainy weather and clean the house. And perhaps play some Sims. My little people miss their kindly (and occasionally sadistic) god.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
The CTA broke my flower.
Went to the Flower and Garden show after class today. It was actually one of the best shows I've been to - the vendor area was huge, and I enjoyed seeing the winners of the horticulture competitions. I think this is the first time that I didn't see the creepy topiaries, and I was glad; they're a bit too "The Shining" for my taste. I really liked the Botanic Garden's garden, a semi-naturalist meadow of medium-height grasses scattered with white tulips and tiny blue flowers. Oh, for a few acres where I could carry such a thing out! Anyway, I figured out how to use Photoshop to put a gallery together - see the pics here.

I bought two small orchids, fully expecting that they would not survive for long, but wanting to give it a shot anyway. The Grand bus was so crowded, though, that I couldn't protect the bag, and one whole flower plus the growing tip broke off from one plant before I even got home :(

Also saw the *coolest* plant ever. Seriously. I need to figure out what it was, and get me one. Will not take it home on the bus this time, though.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Vote early, vote often
Yes, I voted. No, I did not vote for Judge Michael Jordan (he wasn't on the ballot). We didn't get free paczkis from our Congressman at the El this year. Not that I even like paczkis (fruit! ick!), but it's hard not to have fond feelings for a guy who hands out free donuts.

We have measurable snow. I'm not amused. Luckily, I don't have any flowers yet, just some daffy buds. Where are my crocuses? I haven't seen any sign of them yet. I'm planning on ripping the junipers out this spring, so maybe I can integrate a drift of fresh crocuses in that area for next year. That front garden has caused me so much agony over the years. If it weren't for the cute little Japanese maple, I'd be tempted to just rip it all out and start over again. Maybe what I should do is:
--move the geraniums closer to the front (and divide)
--redistribute the coreopses (coreopsises?) throughout
--bring up some of the 15 billion black-eyed susans and group in front of the burning bush
--get some short grasses - dropseed or junegrass? to soften
--pitch the hostas, or give away

Some chick fell asleep against my shoulder on the El today. It was oddly warm and cozy, but I was afraid she'd miss her stop, wherever that might be, so I carefully tipped her back upright at LaSalle. Her eyes popped open and she darted out the door.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Headline of the Day
From the AP: "Internet Providers Team Up in Spam Suits"

Sounds messy. :P

Oh! Oh! I ordered my orange coneflowers today. They were developed at the CBG, and are *very* cool-looking. I've been looking forward to them coming to market ever since I first heard about them. I have just the place for them, too, since I'm going to tear out those accursed phlox before they can dust up my garden with powdery mildew again.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
We're gonna need a bigger house.
This (link from the Bookslut's blog) is a list of books that people should read if they want to understand Chicago. I've read 7 and own a couple more, but it looks like I still have my work cut out for me. Funny, you'd think just living here for 11 years would help me understand it, but what do I know?

We managed to install our new lamp in the living room last night with a minimum of mishaps. For the first time in nearly 9 years, we have actual *light* over the couch! What a concept. I wonder if Restoration Hardware has figured out yet that I already picked up the silly thing, so no, they *don't* have it in their storeroom waiting for me. Mark says I should go get it, because hey, free lamp. But I won't. Stupid ethics.

Saturday, March 06, 2004
You can never have too many juniors
Went shopping for houseplants today! Finally got a ZZ plant (and a better one than at Target, so nyah), and a cute little china doll. I visited the new Home Depot down the street from us, and found it pretty empty for a Saturday afternoon (which was nice!), but theirs was a sorry excuse for a houseplant department. So, I decided I had nothing better to do than drive over to Brickyard (which is under some *massive* reconstruction) and browse at Frank's. Their houseplant section has actually improved. Unfortunately, the mall reconstruction has claimed my fun zippy hilly back road behind the old Ward's store :(

Also got cute candleholders and candles at Pier 1, and tried on shoes that made my feet hurt.

Rumor has it that there will be no more episodes of Fillmore made. Disney sucks.
How can they not make more of a cartoon where hard-boiled safety patrollers suck down hot chocolate from bunny mugs, and where kids have classic lines like these?

-"Your chicken was dry. Real dry."
-"He's her sworn genetic enemy!"
-"Well done!"

Well, okay, maybe you had to be there. Trust me, it's good.

On a happier note, another rumor has it that Joss will get to make his Firefly movie. Yay!! And some coworkers and I are conspiring to get Cubs/Sox tickets by chipping in on a mini-season package at Soxpark. This shows you what lengths Cub fans will go to in order to catch a game.

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