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November 26, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Baby Fish Swimmin’ Around

I keep forgetting to tell you about the baby guppies.

 

 

My son has a 10 gallon aquarium in his room.  It’s got some fish in it.  Nothing fancy…some guppies (which I will elaborate on shortly), a few neon tetras, and…well now I think that is it at the moment due to some untimely fish deaths.  We settled on a fish tank instead of a snake, hamster, tarantula, or lizard.  He begged for one (or more) of those other creatures that some pass off as “pets” but I talked about how much more entertaining a fish tank would be.  I can’t even tell you how much I am NEVER going to have a tarantula in my house.  Nu-uh.  No way, no how.  I would take a snake before I took a giant spider…but I think both would give me the heebie-jeebies and I would never be able to sleep, in perpetual fear of the “pet” escaping his lair and crawling all up in my sheets at night.  Lordy, just writing that is going to give me nightmares.

So back to the fish tank.

I am having WAY more fun with the fish tank than my son is.  (Another sidenote: an extra benefit to having children is that you get to relive a lot of your childhood hobbies!) I dutifully change the water, feed them twice a day, and sit and watch them.  They are fascinating!

No one warned me about guppy sex though.  Those little bastards are ALWAYS doin’ it.  I watched for weeks as poor Yellow Mama Guppy got more marble-like.  One day she swam to the bottom and hid behind a plant…that is when I knew the wee guppies were coming soon.  Over the course of a couple of days, there were suddenly a dozen or more guppettes darting around the aquarium.  They seemed to know the best thing to do was to hide.  Apparently the brains of fish are even incapable of recognizing their babies as their babies.  Instead, they see the fry swimming about and think “Mmmm, a snack!”

It’s been a few weeks and now the fry are triple the size, and are freely swimming among the bigger fish.  They are still quite tiny, but they are beginning to show signs of their fish-individuality (one has a spotted tail now, another has an orange spot appearing on a fin).  I am starting to worry about what will happen as they come into guppy-adulthood…will I need to upsize the tank?  Get more square footage?  Hope for college scholarships?  I don’t know.

For now, I am content to sit in front of the tank and watch the algae bloom admire the simplicity and peace of tiny fish swimming among the brown gravel and replica of a treasure chest.  Even if my son is bored with the fish (I’m sure he wishes it was a tank full of lizards) I am still enthralled.  Black Mama Guppy and Silver Mama Guppy are looking pretty round this week.  I think we are getting another load of baby guppies soon.

November 25, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Whipped Cream on Standby

I impulsively purchased a can of whipped cream a couple weeks ago, with no plans at all for it.  This is definitely uneventful but to me it’s a departure from the norm.  I try not to have things in the fridge that I am not going to use.  But I thought with the oncoming holidays, it would come in handy.  Today it did!  My kids were playing “football” in the backyard before a cold winter wind came screaming through.  The kids came in from the cold and I offered them hot chocolate…and had whipped cream to put on top!  My son told me that I should probably open up a coffee shop because it was the best hot chocolate he ever had in his whole life.

I scanned the fridge to see what else was in there that may or may not come in handy.  I am talking about non-staple items; things that are likely to expire before you ever use them.

– Olives

– Whipped Cream

– Hot Mustard

What do you keep in the fridge Just In Case?

November 24, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Pie Induced Rambling

Today was a good day.  Turkey, friends, and family.  We have everything we need and many things that we want.

No shopping for me this year (Black Friday shopping).  I have done it before and I am over it.  Although sometimes, if you go with a friend, it feels more like a sport.  If you are one of the brave souls going shopping this evening/tomorrow morning, may all your lines be short!

The kids and I put up the Christmas tree at my mom’s house yesterday.  It is probably the earliest we have ever decorated.  I love the lights and the sparkles that come from a lighted, decorated Christmas tree.  If a family puts up a tree in late November and takes it down after Christmas, and they do it that way every year, that means we spend 1/12th of our lives in the presence of a fancy tree.  I don’t mind this fact at all.  If I could have a tree all year long I probably would.  I might change it up…throw some flags on the branches for the 4th, eggs for Easter, things like that.  But on the other hand, it would be really hard to dust.

Everyone is sleeping right now, and I am typing while A Very Gaga Thanksgiving is on in the background.  Ha!  It seems to be the only thing on that looks remotely interesting.  Back to the Future II is also on, but I have seen the Back to the Future trilogy so many times that I can recite them all and successfully argue their plotlines.

As I write this, I realize it may be one of my very worst (worstly) written pieces.  I am not even going to go back and proof it.  Lately, I am just happy to be posting at all.

I can’t even tell you how many times I stare at a blank page, trying to will out something.  It is as if my writing spark has gone away.  I have so many things to say…so many things to rant about, things to rave about, ideas that I want to share.  But when I get to the blank page, it suddenly seems overwhelming.  Or worse…it seems like it’s not worth it.  I don’t know how to snap out of this funk.

It is also the most depressing time of the year…daylight wise.  Sure, the holiday blahs will most definitely strike, but it’s getting dark by 4:30 now.  At 5 PM it feels like it’s 10 PM.  The lack of light is really getting to me.  If anyone has a spare SAD light sitting in their closet, you can go ahead and send it to me.  I will pay postage.  Maybe if I sit in front of a SAD light I will feel better.  Sometimes in the winter, back when I had extra funds, I would go to a tanning booth.  It was never to get a tan, it was to get a boost of UV rays.  I would come out of the blue-tinged booth feeling a little more peppy.

Oh, hold the phone!  Gaga is now being interviewed by Katie Couric.  I strongly dislike Katie.  I don’t know why.

Thinking of media icons has me sad about Andy Rooney, who we lost a short time ago.  I loved Andy Rooney.  He was such a crotchety old thing.  But he spoke his mind in a simple way and that is harder than it sounds.  I believe there is an art to simplicity and not many people can pull it off so magically.  Lots of folks think that speaking and writing and being has to be fancy, with flair, calligraphic.  But being simple, plain, and crystal clear in communicating is a true talent.  In my li’l old opinion anyway.  Nothing grates me more than reading a piece that is so embellished and overdone, that you can practically hear the author gloating about the size of their vocabulary.  Please.  If you have written something that alienates the vast majority of potential readers, what good is it?

Again, I believe simple is an art.  Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was simply but sloppy. Collins The Hunger Games (at least the first one) was simply written, but executed brilliantly.  The average reading ability of adults (in the US…not sure about other places) hovers somewhere around the eighth grade.  If you have a message, dumb it down.  Sad but true!

(Maybe that is why I am not going to proof this column? Ha!)

I am not musical.  I wish I was.  I love music, but can’t play an instrument.  I admire my son in his guitar-taking-classness.  He loves it.  He knows so much more than I do now.  It’s great.  I hope he sticks with it…but that will be his choice not mine.  I will gently encourage him to stick with things, unless one day he comes home and says that he’s really interested in studying demonology or something like that.

Oh no, Lady Gaga is weeping at something Couric just asked.  I don’t know what it was, as I am not paying attention.  I like Lady Gaga.  I know a lot of people do, but I think she is super talented.

They say we are getting a blizzard tomorrow.  Said blizzard is predicted to make a mess out of the highways.  I will be on the highways.  I hope that the weather guesses are incorrect.  Or if the guesses are correct, I hope the snow flies after I am safely back at home.  Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, we went.  Now we have to get back.

I hope you managed to read this far.  I am sorry if it was incredibly, stupefyingly boring.  These days it is all I can do to type a sentence.  I am probably depressed.  I am prone to clinical depression, and living in the Way North where the SAD lurks in the dark winter months does not help.  The sparkling Christmas tree in the corner of my eye helps, though.  I do love shiny things.

October 28, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Murphy and his bag of tricks

I’ve been having a serious problem with Cold Nose this year.  A friend sent me a link to a solution for Cold Nose, but I really can’t see wearing one of those babies ANYWHERE.  I guess I’d rather it just froze off.

I didn’t plan to come here and complain; it’s just that I need to distract myself from the impending chill.  Naturally, the furnace died, since it’s Friday evening and the owner is out of town.  I *could* call an emergency furnace shop, but I have about three dollars to last me until payday.  I could float a check, why not?  Everyone is doin’ it!

My feet are cold and my nose…oh, Cold Nose is a terrible feeling!  I don’t recall ever having this problem before!

I had to shut the breaker to the furnace down…it was making a horrible screeching sound on and off, which now I recognize as probably a belt or something like that going renegade.  When it finally stopped, all I heard was a constant buzzing, like it was trying to work, but, no.

High five!

October 10, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

High Maintenance

I am truly a high-maintenance friend at times.  Not in the typical sense of high-maintenance.  But every now and then I cause great upheaval for those around me, and I just want to say “thanks for putting up with me and even laughing about it.”

So my back has been majorly flared up the past few months, and a new MRI revealed arthritis of the spine has showed up in addition to my failed fusion.  My new doctor decided to try some facet joint injections.  I have had spinal epidurals, SI joint injections, and some other things before but I believe this was the first time for facet joint injections.  Anyhoo, the shots I had before didn’t affect me too terribly so I thought these would be ok too.  Appointment was at 9 AM and I would just show up at work after, right?

My boss found me passed out on my desk later that morning.  Keyboard imprints decorated one arm.  Some friends rallied together to get me home.  But before that, they got into my email and canceled all my appointments for the day and took care of some business.  Then they began an elaborate musical-cars game to get both me and my car home.  They arranged pickup for my kids.  One brought over pizza for dinner (I am told I ok’d this, but when she showed up at the door I was all “Hey, what are YOU doing here?”) and also deep-cleaned the house.

I am incredibly grateful.  Although I don’t remember ANY of it, I am told it was quite the debacle.  Luckily, one of those same friends took a picture for historical purposes.  This is me on her inflatable palm tree as I waited for a ride home:

oops

Plan Ahead

 

Thanks you all.  I owe you a LOT.  I am sorry I was high maintenance on Friday.

September 30, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

TV is cool

Alright, maybe you are on the “TV is the devil” side, and that is ok.  Just stop reading now.  There is a certain sector of the civilized world that turns their nose up at television, like it’s a dirty toy the neighbor-kid found in a puddle and promptly stuffed it in his mouth.  I have been in conversations earlier this year where one or two of the participants declared “I don’t even own a television.”  Fine.  Be that way.  I don’t care.  (Side note:  One of these people also didn’t realize the Arab Spring was occurring.  *shudder*)

Even if you think television is only for the uneducated sheeple, I am still going to watch.  There are diamonds in the rough, don’t you know?  I still read books.  Big books, sometimes, with large multisyllable words.  Because of that, I also feel good about watching television when I so choose.

I don’t watch a lot of television in the summer.  Summers are too short in Montana to waste a single ray of sun.  Once Fall rolls around, and the new seasons of serial dramas and comedies starts up, I dust off the butt-imprint on the couch and plop in, wielding the remote.

I’m choosy about which crap I tune into…I don’t want to see anything with “Real” in the title.  If a TV show has “Real” anywhere in the title, you know it’s bad.  I accidentally caught a few minutes of Jersey Shore once, and I felt woozy.  I can’t stomach that particular show.  It would only make my rage issues worse.  Rage issues…that’s another post!

Since I am still in a blog-funk, I thought a nice idea for a post was to come here to Binary Trash and talk about the shows I am tuning in to this season, and which ones I tried out, though we didn’t work out.  I picked out this year’s shows and listed them for you here.  All I need is a new ice scraper for my windshield and I am all set for the long-ass winter.  See how I used a literary term like “long-ass?”  I told you TV wasn’t making me stupider.

Two Broke Girls

This is a cheesy comedy chock-full of bad accents and stupid scenarios.  I think I like it because the main waitress-chick with the dark hair is who I would want to be if I lived a poor, waiterly existence in the city.  The blond girl, the “daughter of a jailed Ponzi-scheme ex-billionaire” is a perfect balance to the rest of the restaurant.  I can even suspend reality enough to buy that Blondie brought her horse Chestnut to live in the backyard of their apartment.  I’m hoping it doesn’t get canceled, but how long can this show last?  Once the girls open up their dream cupcake cafe, what story is left to tell?

The New Girl

I heart Zoeey.  That is all.

The Big Bang Theory

I’ve been hanging with the Fab Four and Penny since the beginning.  I can never decide which of them I like best.  Sheldon?  Sure, but everyone likes Sheldon.  Raj?  He’s ok.  Walowitz?  Makes me want to wash my hands after he talks.  That leaves Leonard, but he’s just so normal.  I guess I pick Amy Farrah-Fowler.

Pan Am

So far, it’s off to a glitzy start.  I was about to turn it off and check out, but the Big Sister Stewardess is an undercover operative for an intelligence agency?  Now I’m just curious.  Also, I hate flying, so it’s fun to watch an era where getting on a plane was a glamorous thing to do.  I want to tell the characters to enjoy the ride, because in just a few decades it’s gonna be all Ziploc bags and unwanted body cavity searches.

Survivor “23”

Jeff Probst doesn’t age.  What’s up with that?

Jeff Probst, 2001

Jeff Probst, 2011

House

I think this needs to be the last season of House.  He’s done it all.  Marry him off, let him break his Vicodin addiction, and let it all be happier ever after.  I’m very invested in this show having watched from Season 1, so I can’t quit now, can I?

Modern Family

Funniest on TV right now, if you ask me.  The cast is a magical happy group that has the perfect sense of timing.  It’s so well done that it makes me secretly hope the actors all hate each other in real life.

Person of Interest

Jim “Jesus” Caviezel and Michael Emerson.  Kind of a Minority Report meets CSI meets…I don’t know, I just lost my train of thought.  So far it seems like an original idea.  A post-911 Big Brotherish invention spits out the Social Security numbers of a person who is going to be involved in a major criminal act…it’s Jesus’s…I mean Jim’s job to figure out whether the number belongs to the victim or the perp…and stop the act of badness before it happens.  So much packed into one hour…so much…

Terra Nova

A totally believable show about a family in the future who, against all odds, ventures together through a giant glowing portal back to the late Cretaceous period, where a well-oiled machine of a commune is “starting over” under the lead of the mean jerk from Avatar. They have to start over, because they effed up the future so bad that no one can even breathe without one of those masks you get at the hardware store.  Plus there are dinosaurs, and large centipedes, and unusual symbols cropping up on the rocks near the waterfall…uh-oh, I smell crazy hijinks!

Twenty millon for the pilot and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!

Grey’s Anatomy

I hate myself a little more every Thursday, because try as I might, I just can’t quit you, Grey’s.  You have long become tiresome with your dialogue and your Featured Artist musical selections.  Your characters have all slept with each other several times over.  Everyone on the show has died once or twice, at least.  I cringe every time ABC announces a Very Special Grey’s Anatomy Event, because I know I will watch it.  I hope that you end soon.  And no more spinoffs.  Just go to that big ER in the sky, and please tell Shonda Rhimes to retire.  It’s over.

Those poor bastards keep getting killed off, sucks to be them!

KXLF 5:30 News

I try to never, ever miss the local news.  I LOVE Bozeman, MT news.  It’s more entertaining than all of the shows I just mentioned, put together.  See, here in Montana, you never know when a friend or a relative is going to appear on the local news.  They might be walking by in the background, or they might be the head story.  You might see their dented, maimed vehicle overturned in the ditch, with a close up of their beer can still in the coozy, circled on the pavement as evidence (True story).  All this, plus an untold number of misspellings and video/audio snafus.  At least once a week, they announce “here’s the highlights from the local Belgrade Panthers football victory” but cut to a guy in an orange jumpsuit standing in the local courtroom, stuff like that.  Or they will break for commercial, except they keep talking amongst themselves and no commercial happens but the cameraman must be an intern, so we get to hear about their wife and kids, et cetera.  I guess true art can’t be scripted, or contained to just twenty minutes plus advertising.

Well, you know where I will be this winter.  I hope you have plans, too.

September 24, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Nothing to see here

I started “blogging” in 2000, and since then, I don’t believe I have gone THIS LONG without posting something.  It’s almost as if I caught some terrible months-long aversion-to-writing sickness.  It must be a worldwide epidemic, because lots of the blogs that I follow seem to be suffering the same calamity.

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about; oh, nononono that’s not it at all.  In fact, maybe the problem is that I have too much to write about.  Funny things.  Tragic things.  Family dramas.  Friend dramas.  Things happened where I literally ached to come write down the details here, for this blog is my best therapeutic outlet.

Unfortunately, a lot of the things that I was compelled to blog about over the past summer are things that really don’t have any business being public.  There are a lot of stories that happened that make me wish I had a secret, snarky blog, written under a clever alias.  But I don’t, and if writing something down would cause more trouble than not, I won’t write it.  Even though it’s really tempting.

Blah blah blah; this post is really an exercise in getting back into the swing of things rather than an exercise in being interesting.    Hopefully the act of writing in my blog will remind myself how much I like to blog.

Hell, my audience has probably left the premises anyway.  Come back!  Come back!  I promise I will try to do better.

Here is a list (cause lists are easy) of things that happened this summer, with no detail.  If I write the events down at a high level, then maybe they will get out of my system and I will no longer feel compelled to write about them, and I can carry on.   I could have written posts and posts and posts on any of the below items, but instead I will just acknowledge that they happened here, and move forward with my writing life.

Things That Are/Were This Summer

  • Gramma constantly in the hospital, I may not get to visit her before The End
  • Kids got a new “stepmom”
  • New CSA partnership with a Hutterite colony
  • Lost a friend to death
  • Lost a friend for reasons I still don’t understand
  • Moved to a new place with a roommate
  • Visited Glacier Park and saw bears
  • Friend gave birth to a baby daughter; daughter has dangerous heart defect and will have surgery soon
  • Re-injured my back
  • Got the first crop of pears from my pear trees
  • Finally grew okra
  • Son’s feet now as big as my feet
  • Had a long-time-coming get together with my cousins and their kids
  • Lots of realizations about my family, realizations that piss me off but I can’t do anything about
  • Got a fish tank for my kids
  • Made new friends, but still miss the one(s) that I lost

 

 

 

September 24, 2011 / Maleesha Kovnesky

As Promised

Better late than never, I promised to post a photo of myself in my homemade meat dress (it was a vegetarian meat dress) for the world to see. Our team did GREAT in the Relay for Life…we took first place for fundraising, won best costume, and a couple other various awards that I don’t recall as the awards ceremony was at dawn and we had been up walking all night. Here is our team. I am the one in the meat dress. Alas, this was the picture I chose because it is the only one where you can see my matching meat shoes.