angels & insects

    
Oh man, I really miss Doghouse Riley. He was my favorite. I catch myself clicking over to his blog every time A Thing happens, and then horrors, horrors. Like, what would he have said about God’s Not Dead, which will be coming to Netflix on August 5 (not that I’ve been checking)? Something awesome, probably. Something much awesomer than I could ever think up. I tried to read his archives but they were too terrible to look at — especially the parts where he talked about his Poor Wife. Big words are no substitute for intelligence. God is very definitely dead.

Anyway. I have a new cat! Her name is Angel. She came from a local shelter, and was previously an outdoor city stray. She spends 98.7% of her life sleeping, and distributes the waking portion among activities like eating, pooping, trying to climb out of my bedroom window, etc. It’s like I’m looking at myself, here, only much more beautiful and with denser fur:


angel the cat


As a bonus, here’s my mother’s cat demonstrating some important new discoveries he’s made in the field of cat sentience, using nothing but my eyebrow-plucking mirror and his own scientific determination:

kitten the cat

kitten the cat


I missed most of the spring blossoming action this year, but managed to get a decent-ish picture of the weird little ornamental fruit tree in the front yard. The fruits themselves are the size, shape and color of cranberries, but when you open one up it looks like a tiny apple and tastes like all the bitter regrets you turn over and over in your mind when you’re trying to fall asleep at night:

a pretty tree


Lastly, here is a photograph of a strange-looking insect that I found on the hose post:

a strange insect


Yes, I live in a gigantic rain barrel. Thank you for asking.

I’ll try to think up something to write about that isn’t too boring later this week. Maybe I’ll review one of my dodgy ancient history books, or post a recipe or something. Something.

(The Blogger interface is really a piece of shit. I’d just like to add that. For posterity.)
(I also already published this once, by accident, but without the photos and with more typos. Sorry!)
(Mostly for myself.)

Comments

  1. Found your bug. Don't get bitten by it- it's not dangerous, but it hurts.

    I'll have to post a link to my "ate an unknown fruit off a tree" story. I lucked out into deliciousness.

    The cats are wonderful, good on you for adopting a stray.

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    Replies
    1. Holy cheese, thank you so much for looking that thing up! I tried myself, but Google was uncooperative and then gave me photos of green things as an apology, including one depicting football fans wearing green paint on their faces (if I were a more sophisticated observer of the world around me I’d have been able to identify which team they were rooting for). My policy is pretty much: "If it’s a bug, don’t touch it ever." But I will pass on the warning to less cautious family members.

      My bug policy is in strict opposition to my fruit policy, it turns out, because once I noticed the little red things I snatched one off the tree, broke it open, and shoved it in my face. It didn’t occur to me until I tasted its XXXXXXXXTREME levels of intense bitterness that it might’ve been, you know, poison or something. Luckily I didn’t die or turn orange. But I could’ve! And that’s why evolution is just a theory. (I’m kidding, I’m really honestly kidding.)

      Cats! Are the best. & thank you.

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    2. Oh, it was a pleasure- I'm a bug guy, through and through. Just eyeballing that picture, I knew that the insect was a Hemipteran (a "true bug"). When I popped "North American Hemiptera" into my search engine, our friend the wheel bug appeared on the header of one of the first pages. I've never quite outgrown that "demented eight year-old" stage- I still love to turn over rocks and logs to see what sort of critters are living under them.

      It didn’t occur to me until I tasted its XXXXXXXXTREME levels of intense bitterness that it might’ve been, you know, poison or something. Luckily I didn’t die or turn orange. But I could’ve! And that’s why evolution is just a theory. (I’m kidding, I’m really honestly kidding.)

      Yeah, bitter is bad, unless we're talking about radicchio or escarole (I love my bitter greens). It's good that you didn't turn orange, people may have mistaken you for John Boehner's daughter.

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  2. tastes like all the bitter regrets you turn over and over in your mind when you’re trying to fall asleep at night
    Wow. In a good way.

    Loving the photos! If that's your front yard, it's gorgeous! Also congrats on getting a new cat. I think I must be feeling a little tired and ill today because I nearly teared up at those cat photos; they're so cute and pretty!

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    1. Thank you very much! But that isn’t a poetic turn of phrase; the things are so awful-tasting that when you eat them they actually remind you of every terrible moment of doubt and unhappiness you have ever experienced, ever, in your life. Ever. The birds seem to like them, though, and luckily they turned out not to be dangerously poisonous :[

      I firmly believe that cats are the fundamental particles of happiness, in many ways — like large, fat Higgs bosons, only they shed. We will post you some CHEER UP, JANINE photos soon, or whenever I can get Angel to stop running away every time she sees me approach her with a camera in my hands.

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    2. Yay. I am less tired and less ill today so feeling much better. But I am always up for more cat pictures.

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  3. The fruits themselves are the size, shape and color of cranberries, but when you open one up it looks like a tiny apple and tastes like all the bitter regrets you turn over and over in your mind when you’re trying to fall asleep at night:

    What a wonderful turn of phrase... beautifully put! Last fall, I did the "pick a weird fruit off an unknown tree and eat it" thing- the tree had fruits that looked like bouncing balls with warts. I picked one and tasted it, and it was delicious- it had a really "tropical" flavor, but not a lot of substance. I was sort of a "pick it and lick it" fruit- you could taste fifty of them in quick succession. The funniest thing is that Jim H. of Wisdom of the West had done the exact same thing I did around the same time- I guess it was the month of dogwood fruits.

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    Replies
    1. This was supposed to be a reply to your comment, but it posted independently & wouldn’t delete (I’ll keep trying). Sorry about that:

      Haha, thank you. The little fruits are just so disgusting, though — there’s an undertone of intense, long-lasting bitterness which literally feels emotional it’s so harsh. I am unaccountably lucky they weren’t toxic. When they ripen this fall I’ll take better pictures of them and also use a nicer filter, what the hell.

      Those dogwood fruits looked really odd! They don’t even conform to my expectations for fruit. But I’m glad they were good. Unexpected excellent jackpots of random wild fruit is probably a thing that will be receding into the past soon.

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    2. From the photograph and your description, could be crabapple?

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    3. My father tells me they are in fact a kind of crabapple, but not the regular kind that you can make jam out of. These are much yuckier. They should be called mantisshrimpapples. (I just looked up "dangerous crustaceans" and that was the only result that looked like it hadn’t been written by a computer.)

      In other news, I am such a huge fan of your blog, you don’t even know. I only understand about 73.5% of its contents, but this is entirely my fault because I slept through biology class in college. I’m kind of freaking out that you left me a comment, to be honest.

      Anyway, thank you!

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    4. In the cause of full disclosure I should say that it's actually Another Kiwi's blog, and he is much funnier than I, but he has pretty much bowed out and moved on to Twitter these days, leaving me the keys to the place. I'll check with him how to add you to the blogroll.

      More full disclosure: I am not a biologist myself (but I was raised by biologists and speak their language).

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    5. it's actually Another Kiwi's blog, and he is much funnier than I
      When I first started reading Riddled, I thought you were all one person writing under different handles. So I would say everyone is about as funny as everyone else.

      he has pretty much bowed out and moved on to Twitter these days
      I actually started this misshapen blog after trying to use Twitter for about three days, after which I believe I developed some kind of digital version of PTSD (I kept getting bombarded with ads disguised as messages urging me to follow celebrities) (especially Ryan Seacrest, for some reason). I wish Another Kiwi the very best of luck.

      I'll check with him how to add you to the blogroll.
      You don’t have to do that! Or, I mean, I would be honored, but you really don’t have to do that. It would be an embarrassment of riches.

      More full disclosure: I am not a biologist myself (but I was raised by biologists and speak their language).
      I love the debunking of pseudoscience etc. no matter who is removing the bunk. Especially the pseudoscience that makes its way into mainstream culture! But I try to avoid the "giant sea worms with big clacking jaws" posts. Also I sometimes miss the sources for the book quotes I’ve never heard of, but that’s life :]

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