Blue Oyster Cult Mushrooms

Hello there!  Why, yes – this IS my first post of 2015!  Actually, that’s not true.  It’s my first post of 2015 for Fuzzy Undertones, but I have been quite busy with my other website, which also has a blog.  You can check it out HERE (hint hint…yes, please go check it out!!!).  In the meantime, here are some pictures of that time way back in January when I accidentally received a blue oyster mushroom kit and ended up watching them grow over the course of about a week.

Even though I can’t stand eating mushrooms (bleck!), I am mesmerized by their life cycle.  And this isn’t the first time I documented mushroom growth…remember that time when one of my houseplants decided to grow yellow parasol mushrooms?  So very mesmerizing!  I swear, you could see them grow by the hour.  And the colors were amazing!  Have you ever grown mushrooms, intentionally or not?

And for those of you who were expecting to see a little more cowbell in this post, here you go:

I Needed an Attitude Adjustment so I got a NEW BIKE!!!

I’ve gotten in a little bit of a rut around exercise (see my recent posts on roller derby, any of them) so I decided to start biking to work again (which may just help me with endurance and my 27-in-5 goals).  I pulled my mountain bike out of the shed, dusted it off and tested the brakes when – SNAPPO! – one of the brake cables gave out.  One of the brake lines went slack and I couldn’t see how to fix it, so I said “eff this…I’m getting a new bike”!  Actually, I’d been wanting a new bike for a while because my mountain bike wasn’t great for biking to work – it’s pretty heavy, and just slow and cumbersome.  So after some advice and browsing, I came home from The Bike Gallery with this beauty, a brand new Trek Allant!

NewBike

It’s a super sweet ride just perfect for the trendy bike commuter – fenders, large squishy seat for my bum, and angled grips to keep my hands from falling asleep.  I sit all upright, like Mary Poppins, or more accurately, the Wicked Witch of the West.  I breezed to work this morning and barely broke a sweat!  Of course, the best part about a new bike is pimping it out with awesome accessories, like my new bike bell:

NewBikeBell

And just to share all the bicycling fun, here’s an ear-worm for you.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to get your bike out, too!  (Okay, so this is the official music video and there *might* be (or, more accurately, is) some nudity in it, but seriously, it isn’t any worse/better than the World Naked Bike Ride, held in Portland every year.  Enjoy!)

Related Post:  Bikin’ It!

Sketchy at best…a true story of intrigue and mystery, and it’s just across my street!

And now for a little bit of audience participation.  I need your help, dear readers, in providing me with a key component of a story I’m trying to unfold.  A mystery, an intrigue.  A true story (up until this point), and when finished, a potentially entirely true story but likely only partially true story, depending upon the accuracy with which you are able to use the clues I’m going to give you to provide me with the missing piece of this tale.  Are you ready?

Meet my neighbors across the street (or at least take a look at their house):

The House Across the Street, aka the House of Mysteries!

The House Across the Street, aka the House of Mysteries!

Let me set the stage:  we live on a normal street, in a normal neighborhood.  Our houses are all ranch-style, built in the 1950s (when people evidently didn’t need any closets or counter space).  Our houses are fairly nice – kept up, yards managed, pleasant.  Except for the house across the street.  Note the following:

  • Blinds drawn on all windows all of the time
  • Front porch light left on all of the time
  • Front yard consists of gravel, which also serves as a driveway to a gravel parking lot in the back (where the back yard should be)
  • Crumbling paint job and general shoddy appearance
  • Yellow sign and stickers in all windows advertising the security company that protects this gem of a home from potential robberies
Who remembers Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched?

Who remembers Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched?

I’ve lived across the street from this house for over three years now, and about a year ago came to the conclusion that this house is some sort of business.  Two or three cars arrive every morning at about the time I leave for work; I usually see one normal-looking, middle-aged woman (the same woman, daily) park on the street and enter the home in the back entrance.  Occasionally, an unmarked white van (it looks like a utility type van, not a passenger van) will park in the driveway or go around back.  For the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out what type of business this could possibly be.  Are they making or packaging meth?  Is this some sort of prostitution ring?  Are they breeding small monkeys for circuses and fairs and shuttling them in and out of the house with the vans?  I don’t see a lot of strange men visiting, nor do I detect any odd fumes wafting through our neighborhood, so I think that rules out the first two possibilities.  But the third???  Hmmm…

Last week, as I was backing out of my driveway and the woman I usually see was locking up her car at the start of our day, I seized my golden opportunity to get more information.  I rolled down my window.  “Excuse me…hello?”  The woman looked up at me and smiled.  “Hi!  Just curious, but what type of business is this?”  She paused, and said, “oh, it’s a tax business.”  I wrinkled my nose, puzzled and disappointed.  “Oh, ok…thanks.”  I drove away.

Wait a minute, LIES, all LIES!!!  When I got to work, the first thing I did was search for “tax business” in the vicinity of my address.  It took a little digging around, but a business did pop up – Jackson Hewitt.  But since when does a Jackson Hewitt tax service look like THIS???  I’m thinking it’s got to be a front.  I, for one, would not be surprised at all if there were indeed small primates being bred in that house!

neighbor_catHere’s where YOU come in.  Tell me, WHAT KIND OF OPERATION IS GOING ON IN THIS HOUSE???  Leave your ideas and thoughts in a comment, and I will try to incorporate the winning idea (or ideas, or maybe even all of them) in a short story or poem or diorama or some other medium of my choosing.  What do you think is happening here?  Should I be scared?  Are they missing some key permits?  Are they underground because they can’t meet some sort of compliance or regulation?  Are they building something?  Are they harboring space aliens?  Are they under quarantine for an infectious disease and the women who visit daily are there to feed the infected???  What do you think?  LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW, PLEASE, and I’ll choose the winner(s) at the end of June!  Good luck – I can’t wait to find out what my neighbors are up to!

**UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE**  This morning, I saw the other woman (who, incidentally, always arrives in a newer model black Mustang, so I assume there’s money actually involved in this business) enter the house with a small bouquet of flowers.  Who are the flowers for?  Is it the birthday of the lady that I talked to?  Or maybe they are for one of the lepers that they must have impounded in their basement?  And YES, THEY HAVE A BASEMENT.

Game of Thrones is Ruining My Life!!!

I’m soooooo happy that I’m on book 5 of the Game of Thrones series.  Why?  Because book 6 hasn’t been published yet.  Which means I can get my freakin’ life back.  Because ever since Kellie convinced me that I needed to read the Game of Thrones series, all of my free time has been held hostage by my NEED, my THIRST, my OBSESSION to read these books.  Let’s see how my life has suffered, shall we?

1.  BOOK CLUB.  Ok, each month I’m supposed to read a book for book club.  I’ve been pretty good about finishing books…until a few months ago.  Each GoT book is between 800 and 1200 pages, which means that I have trouble reading GoT AND a book club book.  Guess which one wins???

2.  BRAINY GIRLS.  Poor Brainy Girls.  I haven’t had time to put the archive for the last issue together, nor write almost anything for this issue. Which SUCKS, because the theme for this issue is insects, which is awesome, and I’m running out of time to adequately cover the subject.  Can I just finish this last GoT book already so that I can get back to doing quality Brainy Girls work, please???

3.  ROLLER DERBY.  Ok, not really.  I’ve been able to stay pretty much on top of practices and events.  Chris and I even went to the Rose City Rollers Hometown Championships a couple of weeks ago at the Rose Garden.  It was awesome!!!  HOWEVER, I did volunteer to set up and maintain the Storm City Roller Girls website (what was I thinking???) and that has fallen a little behind, too.


Guns N Rollers battle it out with the High Rollers for 1st place!

4.  DIGITAL MEMOIRS (aka scrapbooking).  My 2012 book is almost finished except for the covers and title page.  I put in sooooo many hours working on that book and I just have to cross the finish line…however, finding out where Arya Stark is in Braavos is apparently more important than finalizing the record I have for everything I did in 2012.

 

5.  OUR YARD.  I will not post pictures.  We have a guy who mows our lawn, but I’ve been meaning to get out there with the weed whacker for WEEKS.  There are weeds in our back yard that are 6 feet tall.  We have not planted our garden (except for the weeds).  Shameful.

6.  MY SLEEP.  I’ve been sleeping HORRIBLY lately, and I suspect it is because I stay up late reading GoT.  I wake up and think about GoT in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep.  It’s starting to catch up with me.

7.  HUMAN INTERACTION.  I’ve become a recluse.  My only social outlet is now online, and I’m behind at that (see above).

So, THANK YOU, George R.R. Martin, for hijacking my life.  I’ve watched seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon and am waiting for season 3 to come out.

Oh, crap – are you kidding me???  I can’t wait to be done with your epic stories and find out how this all ends.  I can’t wait to resume life as a regular human…that is, until book 6 is released…

Fungus Among Us!

For those of you who do not have access to Facebook, here is a glimpse of some yellow parasol  mushrooms (also known as flower pot parasols) growing in one of our indoor pots.  They are common inside when it’s humid out, and they are poisonous if eaten.  As much as I hate mushrooms, these were really interesting to watch – you could see growth by the hour.  They grew to about 4 inches in height.  The entire phase happened over the course of about three days!

Thanksgiving time already???

Well, I guess Halloween can’t last forever. But, just in case you’re sad about the season ending (like I am), here are a few pictures for you from our Halloween party!

Our terrifying living room.
We turned our basement into a spider den! Horrific!
Even more scary, I made my first attempt at wearing false eyelashes. It didn’t go too badly! Plus, they were purple.
Here’s my costume! I was going for Mad Hatter, but I’ll also accept Mimi from the Drew Carey Show (not really) or drag queen.
Christopher was the local reed dealer. You know, because he makes and sells reeds for oboe.
We had some amazing costumes at our party, including plenty of Star Wars characters. Rachael was the Death Star, her being pregnant and all.
Paul’s costume was clever – he went to the evite site and wrote all the party-goers names on name tags. His concept: identity thief.
Those eyeball cupcakes didn’t stand a chance!
Uh oh…looks like the party is getting started…
Indeed! We even had Elvis singing karaoke in the spider den!
Hey you two – no funny business! Just kidding, carry on with the funny business.
So scary! But fun! Looking forward to another good time next year!