May 4th, 2012


Sea Monsters and Other Stories

I've done my major errands for the day and my exercise. I walked over to the library to pick up the next George RR Martin book and to do my early voting for the municipal elections (it's very convenient to vote in the library). And I really wish I'd brought my phone or some other device containing a camera. The library is on the side of one of the canals, and the walls facing the canal are floor-to-ceiling windows. They put the voting location against the windows, and apparently it was a slow day because all the election judges were staring out the window when I got there. Instead of asking for my voter registration card, they pointed to the window and said, "What do you think that is?" There was this thing floating in the canal that could have been a log, but it also kind of looked like a baby alligator or like the top of a hippo. After I did my civic duty and got my book, I went down to the canal path to look, and one of the election judges went with me.

And that's when I wished I had a camera because the thing was a bloated fish corpse. A huge bloated fish corpse. Or maybe a sea monster corpse. It was easily as long as my leg and twice as big around -- or bigger (mind you, I'm not a very big person and my legs aren't exactly enormous). It had these weird fins that looked kind of like stunted tentacles on one end and spikes along the top.

However, it turns out that we could maybe use a few sea monsters because apparently there's a huge turtle problem. While we were gawking at the sea monster, there was a lady trying to capture some ducklings to take to a wildlife rehab facility. One of the ducklings had an injured leg from a turtle attack. She said that the turtle population in the canals has exploded, and they're eating the ducklings, attacking the ducks and going after the other waterfowl. If you look into the water, you can see the turtles swarming just below the surface.

Once again, I'm glad I don't have a house directly on the canal. They'd have to move nearly a block away from the water to swarm all over my house and attack.

In other news, I went back to the grocery store where the employee asked me if his orange safety vest kept him from being invisible, and this time, I was in the meat department, deciding what I should cook this week, when one of the butcher guys came up to me and asked if I needed anything. I said I was doing mental menu planning, and he said, "Okay, but if you decide you need the love of a good man, I'm right here, and there are a couple more guys in the back." But he said it in exactly the tone he'd use to say, "Okay, but if you don't find what you need, I can check in back for you," so I sort of did an auditory double-take because for a second I couldn't believe he'd said what I thought I heard. They must hire based on quirk at that store, or maybe there's something about me that says I'm quirk tolerant. I just kind of laughed and said thanks and made a beeline for the bakery.

Where I suffered a total self-indulgence fail. This store sells hand-made tortillas that are baked in the store. On the bakery clearance cart, they had a few packages of different varieties, and they had some cinnamon sugar ones. I decided to indulge. Then I got them home, heated one, went to eat it, and found that I'd somehow managed to grab a package of whole wheat (it was labeled correctly, but I guess I didn't read the label). It was supposed to be a treat, and I managed to get something moderately good for me. It was so disappointing. I may have to bake a cake to get over it.

Except today may be a little too hot for baking. I really need to get my living room ceiling fan fixed or replaced, but it looks like all my income this year (if I have any) will come in the last quarter of the year, so I'm really trying to put off any major spending. The fan itself isn't all that expensive, but getting it installed up in that vaulted ceiling may be. Then again, it is pretty essential for getting through the summer.

Finally, it's Star Wars Day -- May the 4th be with you (get it?). I celebrated early, as one of the pieces of music used in last night's ballet class was a piano arrangement of the cantina band music. I amuse myself by playing "name that tune" with the class music, and that one cracked me up (we've also used the "Oompa Loompa" song in class -- the teacher has fun with music).