Friday, May 22, 2009

Live and Let Die

WARNING: This post contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Living in the country as we do, and as recent posts have illustrated, we often see God's creatures of all shapes and sizes puttering about in or around our apartment. We have shared our space with ladybugs, hornets, moths . . . and share the space around our apartment with possums, rabbits, vultures, mice, etc. Generally, with all this life around us, we adopt a "Live and Let Live" policy. Even in the case of the hornets, we cohabited with them for quite some time, until finally transplanting them outside, where they could live fuller, richer lives.

This morning, however, there was one visitor who was quite unwelcome.

This, my dear ones, is a brown recluse--a.k.a. "fiddleback"--spider. I don't know if you know about them (they are native to the South), but they are interesting little dudes. They lurk in dark corners ("recluse," right?), have six eyes instead of eight, and, while not necessarily aggressive (again, "recluse"), pack a mean punch.

There is currently one residing in our kitchen, trapped under a tupperware container, where he will remain until he dies. This is cruel, I know, and cowardly. A braver man than I would face the spider mano a mano, and take him out with a shoe or something. I, on the other hand, choose to capture him, and let him die of "natural causes." I feel less guilty this way: I may have set the events in motion which ultimately led to his (or her) demise, but if I am not physically killing him, I can convince myself that I am not solely responsible for his death.

I hope you don't think less of me. It's merely a matter of self-preservation.

What would you do to a creature who could do this to you?

(When trying to identify the spider, the first thing I saw in a google image search is the picture of the rotting hand, above. If this doens't inspire cowardice, I don't know what will.)

My answer? Live and let die.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Star Trek

I'm not prone to blogging about movies. In fact, this will be the first time I've done so.

Rach and I haven't been out to see a movie in awhile. I think the last one we saw together was Kung-Fu Panda. On more or less a whim, we decided to see the new Star Trek film at the Movie Tavern, a joint that serves food while you watch the movie. I had rather low expectations, especially with the absence of William Shatner, but instead ended up being very pleasantly surprised.

The Star Trek film is sort of a revamp on the tv series, which is what initially intrigued both of us enough to check out the flick. I would call it a sort of homage to these early years of of Star Trek franchise, before the stories became a little too esoteric for most of us.

The acting could be described as "one good impersonation after another," which I thought gave the film an element of charm. The most impressive among them were Karl Urban's portrayal of Dr. McCoy (If you saw him in Lord of the Rings or Doom, you'd know what I mean), and Simon Pegg's (Shaun of the Dead, Run Fatboy Run) take on a young Scotty.

There were good action sequences, a good amount of back story and character development, and just enough camp to keep things from getting too serious. My guess is that the goal of this film was to rekindle interest in Star Trek as a whole. If that's so, congratulations J.J. Abrams, mission accomplished.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Possum in the backyard, snake in the dumpster

In the past week there has been a number woodland visitors to our country abode as of late. I suppose that "visitor" is a relative term when referring to nature, but that's a whole other blog post...

Two days ago, as I was driving up to the casa, Clint, our wonderful landlord informed me that one of the dogs had "taken a bite out of a copper head." This did not kill the animal (immediately, anyway). Mostly out of protection for the dogs, he deposited it in the dumpster both households share. I haven't seen too many venomous snakes outside of a glass zoo cell. It was both fascinating, and a little sad. I'm not sure if it's alive, but if it is, it's new home is the Denton County waste facility.

I actually have a photo of our other friend. This one's alive, although you could only tell this by the fact it was breathing so heavily:

Yes, between the grass mulch and our compost bucket is none other than a possum. Well, the bottom half of one anyway. Again, I'm sure it's alive, although that was more questionable this morning. I saw this little furry dude in front of my car as I was pulling out of the driveway, in plain sight of the dogs. Rachel said that it was given a good chase when she went out later.

I've long held that I was more city folk than anything else, but that seems to be changing, as I find myself resisting the pull of the city for a closer commute and the possibility of ditching the car altogether. I'm surrounded by so much life out here, its very energizing in a lot of ways. A dwelling has never left me in such awe of so many commonplace yet magnificent realities of nature.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Andy, are you out there???

So, I'm sitting awkwardly in the Collegium Room, on the off-chance that someone wants to come in here to check in an instrument.  

One jury down, one more to go, plus a couple papers ("term" papers that have not really gotten past the planning stage, although one of them had a draft due two days ago), and then I'm done.  Yet, I still don't feel like it's the end.  But this isn't another post to brag about my procrastination skills.  

Andy hasn't blogged in forever.  He was telling me yesterday how much he hates blogging, and hates everyone who reads and writes them.  He said he'd never be caught dead blogging, "from this point on" (i.e., about 8:30 pm yesterday), and that he would severely judge any and everyone who maintained or read a blog.  

Today, I wore a skirt to school because I had a jury.  When I got to class, I realized that the lining of my skirt had ridden up like crazy, leaving my slip quite exposed (thank goodness I decided to wear a slip!).   Had it been like that all the way across campus?  Did anyone notice? Were they all laughing at me?  Is my picture going to be on someone else's blog, laughing about the girl with her backpack on her front, a cello on her back, and showing her business to the whole world??  Will it do the same when I walk back to my car?  Stay tuned for more details.  

I need to write more.  I used to write all the time.  My journaling has even fallen off.  I used to write tomes about unrequited love, and other such Romantic topics, but I guess ever since Andy and I started dating, I lost a big chunk of subject matter.  Requited love just isn't fun to read about.  I mean, the first 80 minutes of every romantic comedy are when the girl and the guy hate each other.  It just wouldn't be the same if the whole movie were about them liking each other.  

I miss writing.  I haven't even written papers this semester (not even the ones I was supposed to have written)!  I'm going to get soft, and then when I try to write my novel (subject TBD), all my skillz will have fallen by the wayside.  

When I was a little girl, I used to want to be an author.  I would write stories all the time, just for fun.  It was my favorite thing to do.  

I also used to watch cooking shows somewhat obsessively.  Graham Kerr was my favo(u)rite, but I also watched Great Chefs, Julia Child, and Yan Can Cook.  I liked to bake, but I wasn't very interested, really, in what they were cooking.  I just liked to learn new words, like "pilaf" (though I probably would have spelled it "pelouf"), and learn the proper way to fold things into batter and so forth.  I don't recall ever trying a recipe.  

Now, I still like to watch cooking shows.  I love cookbooks, and even though I rarely follow the recipes, I love to read them and look at the pretty pictures.  

I still like to write, too.  I even like to write papers (just not either of these papers, I suppose)! 

Maybe I'll write a cookbook.  

No one is coming in to return an instrument; I am going home.  

Wish me luck with the skirt. 

(The picture has nothing to do with this post.  It's just that I, as the result of having seen Christopher Guest and company in concert last weekend, have rediscovered my love for him.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The end of another semester, I guess.

Is it weird that I'm facing the last two weeks of my Master's Degree (excepting my recital and orals, which are big exceptions) and I don't even feel like the semester is ending at all? Perhaps I'm just trying to protect myself from the fact that I have two "term papers" to write and juries to practice for, but in any case . . . yikes.

I've been pretty miserably sick for almost a full week. I had so much excess fluid in my head that my face actually changed shape--gross. I am finally starting to feel better, and not a minute too soon. After all, Andy and I are going to see Christopher Guest live in concert tomorrow! Oh yeah, and all that finals crap, blah blah blah. (See what I mean?)

Life continues crazily on . . . last week was pretty stressful with all that was going on (including five recitals, family members in the hospital [everyone's okay, thank goodness], Andy's interview for the Rotary Peace Fellowship, and other such happenings), but here we are, trucking on. Onward and upward!

. . . and now, to set about disinfecting our apartment so that Andy doesn't get sick, too.