Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Watermelon Sun

I've been sitting on the couch all day with the dog studying very inefficiently for some exams I have this week. It's been raining all day, which is fine. About an hour ago, as the sun was going down, everything outside turned this amazing warm gray color. I tried to get some pictures to show you what it looked like, and I think this is it:

I didn't alter these photos much, just lightened them a little to get the color more accurate and stitched them together. Everything was really that color. I feel like I finally understand this chapter of one of my favorite books, In Watermelon Sugar, by Richard Brautigan. Here's the chapter. You can listen to Richard Brautigan read it there, it with that player, or just read it, or follow along as he reads it.

Music Playlist at


The Watermelon Sun

I woke up before Pauline and put on my overalls. A crack of gray
sun shone through the window and lay quietly on the floor. I
went over and put my foot in it, and then my foot was gray.
I looked out the window and across the fields and piney woods
and the town to the Forgotten Works. Everything was touched
with gray: Cattle grazing in the fields and the roofs of the shacks
and the big Piles in the Forgotten Works all looked like dust.
The very air itself was gray.
We have an interesting thing with the sun here. It shines a
different color every day. No one knows why this is, not even
Charley. We grow the watermelons in different colors the best
we can.
This is how we do it: Seeds gathered from a gray watermelon
picked on a gray day and then planted on a gray day will make
more gray watermelons.
It is really very simple. The colors of the days and the watermelons
go like this--
Monday: red watermelons.
Tuesday: golden watermelons.
Wednesday: gray watermelons.
Thursday: black, soundless watermelons.
Friday: white watermelons.
Saturday: blue watermelons.
Sunday: brown watermelons.
Today would be a day of gray watermelons. I like best tomorrow:
the black, soundless watermelon days. When you cut them
they make no noise, and taste very sweet.
They are very good for making things that have no sound.
I remember there was a man who used to make clocks from the
black, soundless watermelons and his clocks were silent.
The man made six or seven of these clocks and then he died.
There is one of the clocks hanging over his grave. It is hanging
from the branches of an apple tree and sways in the winds
that go up and down the river. It of course does not keep time
any more.
Pauline woke up while I was putting my shoes on.
"Hello," she said, rubbing her eyes. "You're up. I wonder
what time it is."
"It's about six."
"I have to cook breakfast this morning at ideath," she said.
"Come over here and give me a kiss and then tell me what you
would like for breakfast."


Saturday, September 5, 2009

last dog post for a long time I promise

I just walked back into my bedroom and this was waiting! I squealed!

Here's a little further back to show you what's going on. She moved a little.

She's so lazy, she doesn't usually start moving around until 9 or 10.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sticky Card Big Top

While looking at sticky cards yesterday for the presence of natural enemies, I caught this performance by some kind of hopper. Look at that leg kick! A little cane and hat too. His act was a little rough around the edges, but I think that he could go far.

Happy Birthday Beatrice, I guess.

I got a card from Banfield Pet Hospital in the mail this afternoon that said "Look who's turning 3!" Insides it said "Happy Birthday to you, Beatrice!". I was embarrassed because I didn't realize that her birthday was in September. I showed her the card and since its her birthday, I let her tear it up into bits, which she seemed to get some birthday glee out of, before demanding more peanut butter.

What is a little strange about the card is that it was addressed to my Corvallis address, but I have never updated the address with them. How did they know? How far reaching is that change of address form that you fill out with the USPS? The last time that I used it, between LA and Portland, it didn't actually work. I can't complain though because a nice woman at the post office near my residence in LA personally went to my old apartment to get a package that had been sent there mistakenly, and sent it to me express mail. Yes, that was the U.S. post office. Yes, in Los Angeles, CA.

Anyway, the dog is three years old.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I think that my dog may have the strongest jaws of any dog, when she wants to use them. I wanted to read tonight and she was whining because I wasn't looking at her, so I went to petco to get her an updated name tag and some pig's ears to distract her. She ate one of the pig's ears like it was a potato chip. I read about 3 pages before it was gone, but I was reading slowly because I was watching her crunch through dried skin. I wish she didn't get sick from rawhide, that would last a couple of hours.

Here's some recent pictures of the dog for those who may want to look at them.

She got some treats in the mail that are supposed to calm her down. I got a puzzle with beetles on it and this!!!!!!:

I had heard that this existed within the walls of the house I grew up in but my Mother said that it was long gone. My sister found it and now I possess it and it will be unfurled and flown upon the proposed camping trip at the end of september. If you don't know what it is, it's related to my halloween costume from 2008:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Harmless but Uncomfortable

So i've got nothing against breastfeeding, but I find this picture that was on a little odd. The baby's making eye-contact with the camera/viewer, like we have an understanding, kind of like he's bragging. "Eh? hmmm?" I don't like it. I don't like what it suggests. I don't like the baby looking at me while he's doing that, it's weird. He might as well be tipping his shades:

Notice it also suggests "everything tastes better at grandma's". The whole thing is really weird.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some days I wonder if I am a sad man, that if people looked in on my life, if they would say "What a sad man, talking to his dog, standing there in his boxers, and putting golf balls at an electric dust pan." No, dude, look at the pictures of trees I have framed on my wall and the shelves I put up yesterday to hold my cameras! You are so stupid, get away from my window, you are making the dog bark! Today is very hot. It's over 100 degrees out. It's still over a hundred degrees out and it's 5:30 pm. I woke up at 5:45 am to leave for the Filbert orchards and get work done before it got too hot out. We were kidding ourselves, since it was hot at 7 am when we arrived at the first orchard. I have never had sweat literally pour off of me in a steady stream. At one point I was drawing Drew a map and when I tilted my head forward, sweat trickled off my head like a water in a faucet left on for a cat, all over the map that I was drawing for him. We both laughed, but I knew that we both understood this was disgusting. I thought about how I read in a book that circus people rub peanut oil on elephants' heads to keep their brains from drying out when they are stressed, and how that's got to be complete bullshit, because peanut oil is not a good brain moisturizer. Maybe it's true, I don't know, but I have some doubts, seeing as water is essential to life and oil is sort of the opposite of water.

I received a phone call from my boss that said that I no longer have to come in at nights for a couple of hours to check on the life table experiments that we are running. I was happy to hear this, since I don't like having to be anywhere at anytime, really, even if I have no place better to be, and the place that I am supposed to be is neither inconvenient nor disagreeable. The basement of the Agriculture and Life Sciences building is disagreeable in that it's hot, but it's cooler than it is outside. The work is tedious but not hard, a lot of microscope work, looking for the shed exoskeletons of mites to see whether or not they have molted to a new development stage (sometimes I forget this is my job). This is useful information to farmers, sort of. That's not why were doing it. It has to do with effectiveness of control as a natural predator during certain seasons... I am happy to not have to look for insect skins anymore, at least in the evening. I've been there every night for about two weeks, which means I haven't had a day off in over two weeks. I think sunday is my next day off. Hasn't really mattered all that much.

The point is, it's really hot outside, so I can't take the dog for a walk or we'll desiccate into little dusty piles of skin and clothes, so we are sitting around bored in the apartment, where it is warm (about 80) but not unbearable. I dragged out the putter, golf balls, and auto-ball returner (it resembles a dust pan and plugs into the wall) that I got from goodwill when I had no TV or internet to keep me entertained. I have six golf balls, that I line up about 15 feet from the target. The first one I know I will miss, because the dog is ready to leap at it as soon as I tap it, so I just hit it without aiming. She leaps at it and can't quite get it and it goes shooting into the bedroom. After she gets her mouth around it, she puts it onto the bed. I'm able to get about two putts in before she gets back, usually. I mean that I have the time to hit two of the balls towards the hole, not into the hole, as most of them go past. The dog grabs those and puts them on the bed. When I am out of balls I go into the bedroom and collect the eggs from the nest that she has made of the balls. I think that if they hatch into dogs I might be on the news, but I will be embarrassed when they ask about the last time I washed my sheets.

After a few sessions of putting/collecting eggs, I decided that it was time to get serious, to stop dicking around and make some real putts. I went into the bedroom and put on a pair of athletic shorts (I have one pair of athletic shorts) and then returned to the living room. I give the dog the first putt and then I look at the dust pan, and imagine a straight line from the pan to the putter. I look at the ball and I swing and I putt through the ball, I don't even look at the hole and I know it's gone in. I can't describe it, I just know I have sank this putt. The ball returner sends it back THOK. I decide that I am going to sink 100 putts in a row. I think that I am very good at this and should make this a career, but a lot of people already do this, much much better than me, and they are called professional golfers. I think that I need a nickname, but all I can think is "Jonny Greenwood." I make the next putt, but I miss the third. I decide again that I am going to sink 100 putts in a row, but before I do, I check to see if the dog is choking on a golf ball. She wasn't, but I thought that it would be a good idea to google "dog heimlich" and it turns out there is such a thing. I also remember that I wanted to learn morse code and how to identify trees. What for, I dunno. Then I started typing all this out, because I thought that the bit about putting on athletic shorts and the dog heimlich is funny. I look forward to later making coffee and an omelet out of the vegetables that my boss brought me yesterday, but it's still too early, because if I make it now, I will be hungry before bed, and if I eat before bed, I wake up feeling sick. I look behind me because I can hear the dog whining and she is sitting on the side table, and I wonder if perhaps I really did suffer heat stroke this afternoon. Then my phone rang which was just as surprising.

My former just landlord called and asked if I knew that I was aware that my lease ends on Friday. I said "Oh my god, what!?" but I was lying. She didn't think it was funny and least she didn't laugh. She asked if I wanted to do a walk-through when I turn in the keys, and I asked that if the lease ends on friday, and that I have to be out on friday, and you want to do the walkthough friday, when was I going to be able to fix the things that she thought were not clean enough? Should I bring cleaning stuff to the walk through? Is that normal? She said no. I told her that I did a walk-through with another girl, (which she said she remembers), which was sort of useful except that she asked us to clean the patio which was not listed on the list that you gave us of things to clean, and that I decided that the place was a clean as I could get it, and I was told that you don't make a final decision till after we turn in our keys, at which point I can't make changes. So if I can skip a walk-through to avoid being depressed about things that I should have done and will now regret, I would like to just skip it. She said that's fine, she understands. Thanks for understanding your complete power over me in regards to the situation. I should have said that I'd like to learn to walk through walls, you GHOST! What do you say to that? But really I want to be a ghost, so that is not an insult. She then told me a device, that she had previously told me to to take the office, needs to be returned to Comcast. I told her that we only got it because we were told that we needed to get it, and that, in fact, we never opened the box, and our cable TV never changed at all (I was suggesting that she was swindled.) She said she didn't remember that. I reminded her about the Comcast foodcart thing that was parked in front of the office for three days. She said to write my apartment number on it. I checked to see if I had peanut oil because I think my brain is drying out from the stress of the phone call that she clearly thought was going to be about a minute and I dragged into about eight.

It's too hot today, and I live too far away from my friends, and this may be the worst summer of my life, to be perfectly dramatic. Now it's 6:30 and probably time for an omelet.