Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What's been going on

1. I'm reading Atlas Shrugged and that is probably what has stolen my blogging time. Often I'd want to write about it, or some idea it led me to, but I didn't want to put the book down long enough to do that. Now I'm far enough in where it's still enjoyable, but lost some of its charm, and I want to wait till I'm finished to write about it. Once I've gotten the full picture of her philosophy. However, if I found that one of my friends had read it, I'd probably get excited and verbally jump on them like a dog rushing the guests at the front door, wanting to ask them what they thought and talk about how Henry Rearden and Dagny Taggart aren't bad but that doesn't make me a right-wing crazy because I recognize that in real life laissez-faire capitalism, the industrial giants are NOT dedicated to doing their best work. They have been more James Taggart (whiny, looking for ways to maximize their own profit, greed calling itself something else) than Dagny Taggart. And since this is the world we have, how do we work with it to make the best, most fair world for people? I don't know and fortunately I don't have to decide (not much farther than casting a vote on November 4th, anyway.)
What I found most interesting, so far in the book, is the dedication of the book's two heroes--at least for the first half. All of the obstacles put before them, and the public's seeming acceptance of it, did not stop them from wanting to continue their work to make a better world. They didn't say, oh fuck it! These people don't deserve a better world! The world isn't worth saving!



2. I started this post two days ago and only got this far. But here's something I started several weeks ago:
New Brunswick - rsearch, people I saw - that guy whose name I don't know, boots girl outside of Chang, philosophy conversation

New York yesterday - metrocard, geography

Wow! glad I recorded that gem! Maybe I should spend more time on my rsearch!


3. Garden - I am building a garden. In fact, two. You'd think that a however-many-acres public garden where I work would be enough garden, but no. Or the community garden where I don't actually garden (yet) but of which I am "coordinator." Still not enough. Until I can get my Grow Light to stop shutting itself off, I currently have an indoor garden of depressed houseplants, my "woodland" garden outside which is doing well, and I'm starting to take over and force myself into my mom's garden by buying her lots of plants that require too much sun to go in my own garden.
I'll probably write more about my garden later, especially since I'm bound to have comical misadventures. When I found I was moving into a place with a yard, I assessed the land and quickly started buying plants. The problem is that the entire yard is shade. Part shade in some places, but most of it probably constitutes as full shade. This is a challenge. This limits my choices.
The nice thing about working in a botanical garden is that I am constantly exposed to different types of gardens and constantly get to see what will grow in a nontraditional gardening space. So I had some ideas. I bought several types of ferns, was given a crisscross fern as a gift, and a hellebore. Without thinking, I was drawn in by the weirdly beautiful picture on the label of the nearly black flower of "Metallic Blue Lady" hellebore. ARGH! Shade gardens do not need black flowers. They need things to brighten up the space!
Oh well.
I got a bunch of yellow columbine for free and scattered that about.
Then Agway started having sales.
I never expected to develop such a liking for the local Agway. But they have such great perennial sales. It's really fun to know something about a topic (for me, plants) enough to know when you're getting a good deal--enough to look at something on the shelf that looks dead but be able to recognize that it's really worth $15 and not $3, and that it's just rootbound and once it's planted it'll be FINE.
So (non plant people skip this part) I now have, in addition to the above mentioned plants, Tricyrtis 'Lightning Strike,' Chelone glabra, and a bunch of violets I'm systematically transporting from my old shade garden at my parents' house. (This "garden" was some violets I dug up and stuck there when I was twelve.) However, for auxiliary garden, I was bent on buying some plants that were on sale that need sun and my mother conceded, so there's Lobelia cardinalis, Wood's Blue and Wood's Pink aster, Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks,' and a calico aster.
There's just something delightful about buying these dead-looking plants and having everyone at Agway look at me like I'm crazy but I know that I have a treasure. The asters were only $1.75.

4. Food - I have been cooking a lot. Occasionally I get these wacky ideas about being self-sufficient. I'm going to try to bake bread more than I buy it--if it's cheaper. If anyone cares--if anyone is trying to live healthily and cheaply like me--this great book called More With Less has a lot of good resource/money-saving ideas, and its recipe for Oatmeal Bread is great. It uses no eggs and only a little bit of butter. I don't think it uses a lot of sweetener either. I was making a lot of stuff with vegetables but I don't feel like writing about it. This past week was the Week of the Beet. I will soon be sick of beets.

5. Library - As much as I love the sales at Agway, another new love in my life is the Morris County Library System. I finally signed up for a library card at the street fair. At my town library, there are tons of great books and CDs. Like any library, they have access to interlibrary loan BUT there is a much easier system within the county, where you can request books from other libraries in the county and they get delivered to your library. It's basically like the Rutgers library system, where if you didn't feel like going to Busch you could have something send to Douglass. Or you could go to Busch. Either way, your card was accepted.

6. Music - Partly because of the library (and because I live near a record store) I've had a burst of new music. This is good because for almost a year I was in this rut of Regina Spektor, old blues music, and classic rock. I mean, almost nothing else was played in my car. For a whole year. This summer, I basically listened to the same Beirut CD and occasionally Belle and Sebastian...over and over and over. Thanks to the library and the record store, I have Modest Mouse, Dinosaur Jr., Tegan and Sara, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yo La Tengo, and a whole list of other stuff to check out.

I have no idea what else I planned to write about when I started this post two days ago.

1 comment:

Allie Zelman said...

I love tricyrtis! I also love anything with dark flowers. I bought some almost-black tulips at that Agway, forgetting that the deer and chipmunks will almost certainly decide they like them too.

Any tips on transplanting violets? The ones I liberated from our previous residence all died. =(