Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Urban Postmodern Garden

My attitude towards gardening is one of experimentation. You see, I have a first story apartment. Sure, I have a nice sized patio. Directly on top of it, growing the most lovely garden in the full sunlight, is my upstairs neighbor's patio. Most other direct sunlight is cut off by the next door apartments which are also two story.

Of course, most of the plants I want to grow ask for direct full sunlight. At best, I have weak, indirect sunlight, for a few hours.

Now, I could just listen to the advise of experienced gardeners and books and resign myself to a life of shady gardening, complete with half a dozen ferns and shade-loving-flowers. But that's not my style. I'm not really a flower kind of girl.

I must have fruit.

And look how it's paid off!

Ok, so there is only one and I haven't eaten it yet, so who knows what my abuse has done to the flavor of the thing, but I'm proud. And I have unexpected sources to thank for this miracle.

I've had these strawberry plants for almost a year and a half and have really been doing my best to slowly kill them with lack of sun (and sometimes, water). Then, suddenly, this one (seperate from the others) starts doing remarkably well. What could it be?

That's when I noticed that all the flowers are facing away from the sun. Instead, they face the white wall of my apartments exterior. Briefly I consider the idea that the sunlight bouncing off the walls is somehow brighter than the actual sunlight.

But no. My eyes move up the wall and the answer comes to me.

A few months ago, before my strawberries perked up, some slightly brutish looking men came and replaced the lights above all the doors of apartments. The new, bright halogen lights installed are possibly strong enough to actually scare away robbers and rapists.

Or convince feeble minded strawberries that they are actually the sun, as they shine on them all night long.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Atrocity Tourism in the Early Half of the 21st Century

I've been very bad lately.

Atrocity tourism is a term I got from Meggish who got it from an on-line cartonist named Spike who either is brilliant or got it somewhere else. I don't really know or care.

Atrocity tourism, to me, means the spending of large amounts of time looking at articles/blogs/words on the internet that elicit a strong emotion. It's not simply a matter of looking up news articles on grisly murders, it means thuroughly exploring the accomplishments of a serial killer.

My poison of choice for the past two days has been Extreme Animal Rights. In the past two days I've spent more hours than I will ever admit exploring the local and global politics and workings of these people.

Of course this has to stop because it's getting in the way of what I should really be doing. Laundry and writing. Furthermore I've been trying to think more of time as equalling money, which would lead to the distressing conclusion that I am spending money on the Extreme Animal Rights movement. Which I really don't want to do.

But, I can't just let go without saying one thing on some of the wildly extreme people I've encountered.

I don't understand the Anti-"No-Kill" movement. I'm not talking about the people who disagree on how it should be achieved, the Alisomar Accords vs. Nathan Winograd, those who think it will take a long time or even those who are skeptical it will ever happen. No, I refer to those who point-blank say they are against the No-Kill movement.

So does that mean they are part of the Kill Movement? I'm not sure.

Most of these people and groups (including the large one mentioned below) equate No-kill with hoarders. Which is as erroneous as equating Scott Peterson with the Pro-Choice movement.

They are not all loonies on message boards. Peta is anti-no-kill, and though one might argue they are loonies, they have a bit more presence than a message board. The fact that these people and groups are out there offering such negativity when what we need are empowering solutions elicits the angry feeling in me that these Atrocity Tours are designed for. The fact that people will defend their attitude on message boards makes it even worse.

And I need to stop getting upset about what someone who I've never met and probably will never meet, and whom will probably never have any impact on my life, says on a message board. Sitting on my couch and getting angry at the internet does not help anything. I've got better things to spend my money on.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Is it not nifty?

I am so happy with our recent purchase from Ikea. It's not totally set up, but check it out: