Wednesday, July 30, 2008

95+ Weather

I am sick of this 95 degree or higher weather!! Bring on the autumn season!

Why does the heat just make me wilt into a pile of (very) grouchy mush? Yes, I know, at least it's a "dry heat" here in Utah. But there's a point when the humidity doesn't matter - it's just plain hot. And we've reached that point and sat there for weeks on end now. Or so it seems.

Even the grass and trees are looking mighty unhappy. And I can't seem to pour enough water on them to do any good. The grass looks completely dead in patches and many of the other plants are visibly stressed. Even the sick maple tree in the parking strip has given up the ghost. The city is supposed to come cut it down. They just won't commit to when. Then next spring they will plant a new tree... as long as I'm willing to give it 5-10 gallons of water every single day all summer long. Even though I'm not paying for the tree, the water bill makes it an expensive investment. But I guess I shouldn't complain. At least I will get to enjoy the shade. Eventually.

Next Tuesday is Night Out Against Crime. It's supposed to be 94 that afternoon. What a break, huh? But I think (I hope) the party will be a lot of fun. I'm hosting again this year and I've put a bit more planning into it. Okay, a lot more planning. On the agenda is sidewalk chalk drawing for kids (with a prize), a "get-to-know-you" game for the adults and a water balloon toss for everyone. We are grilling hotdogs and hamburgers and having a pot luck of salads and desserts. I've invited the police and fire departments to come show off their vehicles and do a meet and greet with all the neighbors. I handed out 69 invitations this year. I'll post more about the shindig on August 6.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Blue Ones Really Do Crack Easier

A few days ago, a friend at work handed me this goofy little story. I chuckled and passed it along to my friends all over the country. Then... unexpectedly I was confronted with a bowl of plain M&Ms. Come on, you know you'd try it, too!

Here's the story:

M&M Genetics

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one cracks and splinters. That one is the "loser" and I eat it immediately, weeding out the inferior genes. The "winner" gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theatre of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world. Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to:

M&M Mars
A Division of Mars, Inc.
Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503

along with a 3X5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."

This week they wrote back to thank me and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the true champion. There can be only one.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What Is This Glow?

Last Wednesday I had to stop at the bank to make a deposit and I was chatting with my friend David there. They were slow, the server was down, etc... I haven't seen him for months. He kept commenting on my "glow" and that I look really happy and then came the suspicious "who is he?" I wish I could have told him I'm in love, but that's not really true. I have a crush... yes, there's a man I'd like to get to know better... yes, my heart gets a little thrill whenever I see him... yes, but love? No. Not yet anyway. But I'm working on it!

My young friend Jonathan lied to me last weekend when he was here. He wanted to play in the water on Sunday evening and kept stepping into the spray where the sprinkler was overshooting the fence just a little. He was a bit dampish, but not really wet and he started rubbing his hair. I told him if it dried all spiky like that he'd look like a rock star. Of course, then he wanted his hair spiked. Silly me... "Okay, go ask your Dad first." Minutes later he comes running back telling me it's okay and he has this huge bottle of hair gel. So I spiked his hair. Or rather I tried. He looked more like a porcupine on the loosing side of a battle with an egg beater, but he was thrilled with it. Until it was time to go home. Then it was "My Dad is going to kill me!" And then Dad saw the hair... Yeah, his face was a mixture of horror and surprise. He obviously didn't know about Jon's plan beforehand. Right then I wanted to choke Jon, too. Great way to make an impression on your crush, huh?

But hopefully I turned it around on Monday evening when I took him a jug of chocolate milk (his stress reliever) and an "I'm Sorry" note with my phone number in it. Along with the suggestion that next time I'll wait for him to call and let me know that he's really okay with whatever plan Jon has cooked up first.