Monday, October 18, 2010

Completely and Utterly Random

I don't want this blog to turn in to a place I come only to vent, so I'll intersperse pictures of our sweet new cuttings and cactus garden with the completely and utterly random bitching.

Can you tell I'm enchanted by our tiny little garden? With the exception of a few straggling snapdragons and marigolds, and some uh-maz-ing mums, the outdoor garden is about kaput. Good. It was fun for the first few months of the season, but it turned in to stress, stress, stress trying to keep the water off the neighbor's heads.
Speaking of water on the neighbors heads, I accidentally spilled some on the head of the neighbor. That encounter ended in a visit to the office, a call to the social worker and a heartfelt (I hope) letter of apology from the neighbor. I don't care how puppy-dog a person is or what their issues are, a 6-foot something angry cursing man storming at you is a 6-foot angry cursing man storming at you. I've put up with a lot of nonsense with these kids, but that's where I draw the line. I won't have it at my own front door.
The neighbor, who really is a puppy dog when he isn't extremely angry, has made friends with the local losers. One of those loser people kept fishing for questions about when we're home, when we're at work, how long we're gone. Luckily, he was only untrustworthy and not scary. I refuse to be concerned about someone who barely scrapes 5'4" and isn't old enough to buy beer. Still, if our TV ends up missing, then it was probably the squirrely kid of about 20 with buzzed hair who I think is the kid that Jill says used to walk Judy's dog. The other loser(s) happens to work here. It boggles my mind why any of the staff members are hanging out with the 20 year-old A-#1 nuisance of the complex or why they would take him out to bars, get him drunk and dump him back here for us to deal with. Maybe they think they're being nice, but it is just weird. P.S. If my TV ends up missing then the staff member(s) probably know where the squirrelly kid lives.
I want you all to know that I have been officially cured of any desire to be neighborly ever again. It isn't because of the squirrelly kid who is going to steal my TV or the weird staff members. It is because of the Angry Puppy who immediately forgot he was angry and asked what I thought of his shoes and if I liked his shirt and then he blew smoke in my face but said he was sorry but then did it again. Hoodlums and happy puppies I can handle. The slingshot mood swings are too much.
It is probably really insulting to keep referring to the neighbor as a puppy. I need a segue and this is what I came up with--my sister used to have a fish named Puppy. This picture is not Puppy; this is Sid. Sid Fishious. Sid's been a jerk all morning pretending to be dead. It has been pointed out to me that fish can't be jerks, but I think making your friend  and feeder believe you are dead when you're just taking a nap it is a jerky thing to do. His water gets changed tomorrow and I'll give him an extra dose of medicine in case he's actually sick and not a fishjerk. [I don't really think fish are jerks. Except piranhas.]
This is a flowering "air" plant. Air plants are part of the bromeliad family. Like their name suggests, these plants thrive in open air although they can be "planted" in moss or hopefully rocks and still thrive. We got this tiny little plant at Missouri Botanical Garden. Missouri Botanical Garden was given to the people of St. Louis as a gift for all time from Henry Shaw. Shaw's home was open when we visited the garden on Saturday. We were excited because the last 4 times we went to the garden it had been closed. It is a lovely home befitting a lovely garden....
...except when you get to the basement there is a display where we discover that Shaw owned slaves. Not only did he own slaves, but 3 of his slaves ran away and he sent hunters after them. I did a little more research and not only did he send hunters after them, but he sold his slave Ester in to hard labor in the South as punishment. He did NOT sell her children along with her. Asshole. My whole life I thought Henry Shaw was some kind of hero for leaving the garden for all of us to use regardless of race or wealth and now he's some guy who separated a mother from her children and sold that human being in to a life of terrible hardship as punishment for wanting freedom for herself and her children. I can't lie, knowing that he owned slaves kind of ruined the garden for me....maybe not ruined. Scott said that knowing this didn't ruin the garden for him, but it did change it. He thought he was looking at one thing but it turned out he was looking at something else. I feel that way, too. I need to think about Shaw's contributions versus his actions--the person he was versus the legacy he left. Does one outweigh the other? The display in Shaw's house suggests that he may have had a change of heart later in his life. I don't think so. Does that matter to me? Should it? 
I'm knitting TARDIS socks this month. That has nothing to do with puppies or Henry Shaw, other than I knit on the socks while sitting in Shaw's boxwood garden with Scott and discussing whether or not we could talk Scott's mom in to buying a donkey. Not that a donkey is a puppy. Anyway, Scott says he doesn't want these socks, but he totally does. Who wouldn't?