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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
February 2023
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such a pickle

Things I (re)learned while I was home.

  • Bear is a water baby.
  • Letting my Grandma drive is like letting an angry monkey drive.
  • My cousin…damn. I need a cheat sheet for these people’s nicknames… Priss is DAMN good at scrabble.
  • Bear has a bizarre ability to handle my aunt.
  • The Hindu Temple is totally worth another visit.
  • Its always good to see where you came from
  • It’s good for Bear to see where I came from
  • Short trips are awesome and painful
  • Bear should NEVER sit in the window seat.
  • If I have to fly, I’d rather go with Bear than anyone else, even though he’s a total bitch about flying. (see the previous bullet)
  • I somehow can knit lace on a plane with Bear squishing one of my arms but I cannot when I have adequate lighting and room at my aunt’s house.
  • It’s good for my family to get Bear’s and my perspective since it’s a little removed.
  • Sometimes my family actually is right and there’s nothing to say or be done.
  • My family’s home really IS Howl’s Moving Castle
  • I could stand to hang out with my brother a lot more often. He’s a pain, but he’s a good pain.
  • There is a mythical mexican restaurant in Houston, TX. It has a large parking lot to the right side adn back and I remember it having a lot of white walls or being VERY bright. There is probably a fountain inside the restaurant. We think it has an Alma? in the name or sounds like that? It is somewhere near TC Jester. Bear, Carl and I apparently had a shared hallucination because we COULD NOT find the restaurant again. Despite 2 hrs of driving all over town.
  • Bear gets CRANKY when he’s hungry and he’s bored.
  • Carl gets CRANKY when he’s bored.
  • Sometimes it’s not the plane, it’s the kids.
  • Bear has a guardian angel. (S)He just doesn’t make sure he gets aisle seats.
  • Kosher pickles are taking over the grocery stores in the states. I cannot find a plain whole dill pickle to save my fucking life.

Not the Aggie kind

I feel like I should have regular Did-You-Know kinds of posts about being a new homeowner. This week I learned about burning permits. Our town has restrictions on open air burning and you have to get a burning permit in order to have a bonfire of brush and tree limbs and yard debris and such. (It does not apply to cooking or, I’m assuming, little outdoor firepits.) Tree leaves are not permitted (I learned this from a fireman) because leaves could catch on fire and then be blown by the wind and spread the fire to the neighbors and cause VERY. BIG. PROBLEMS.

So I knew we needed a burning permit. We have a very big yard.

The fuzzed out person there is Bear. Shhh. Don’t tell him that his general shape is on the internet. But you see all that yard? (That picture is from the fall before 1) we bought the house and 2) the rainfall that tried to drown us.) Lots of dead branches and all kinds of plant material that I would love to get rid of without paying to have someone get rid of it currently litter the ground. SO! We are going to burn it. Apparently between the hours of 10am and 4pm with the fire put out at 4pm and a fire hose nearby and the bonfire at least 75 feet away from any building. The fire department is very clear on their requirements.

The thing that threw me for a loop though is that when they say “permit”, they mean “permission”. You don’t go and buy or sign up for a piece of paper. You call the fire department early on the morning you want to burn and tell them that you want “a permit” and give them your address and stuff and then they give you the ok. That’s it.

Never wanted to draw outside the lines more

Bear took a long thin splinter out of my finger last night while we finally watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics. This is amazing because we haven’t had cable to a TV that we can sit down and watch since… the 13th? Nope. Before that. Probably around the 9th before we shoved the couches and coffee table together to make more room. Not that it’s a huge deal, we don’t watch much TV. It just signaled a return to some level of normality. We’ve been scrubbing and washing and packing or unpacking for so long now that I’m losing my mind. I lost my wallet at some point in there. I also found my wallet. I go to bed and wake up a little confused. Our bedroom doesn’t even have the furniture that I’m accustomed to in it. We decided in some kind of brilliant/stupid epiphany to split up our bedroom set between the two guest bedrooms and to upgrade ourselves to a king sized bed. When we can afford it. Which won’t be for a little bit. So our bedroom is barren. Except for the boxes.

Owning a home is weird. It’s not just that you have this space. It’s that no one else knows how your radiators work. We are really lucky n that we have this one awesome neighbor that we’ve met and she tried to help us. Our bedroom and Bear’s office are still freezing though. We bought an electric heater for the bedroom and Bear’s going to set up his computer for his office.

If that statement right there doesn’t hang you up, let me repeat it. Bear’s going to set up his computer for his office. As in, he has not YET set up his computer. I’ve had moments where I’m worried the world is going to end (I think it has to do with the stress? It’s a creepy ass feeling.) and Bear not rushing to set up his computer is one of the things that causes that feeling. We did buy a few more plants which makes me feel better. My amaryllis and orchid have been combatting the world-ending feeling. I find it strange, but I’m grateful all the same. Now I have this funny looking succulent that I found on sale and Bear has a money tree and a juniper. The money tree was also on sale, which tickles me. The succulent isn’t aloe or agave or any of the ones that I recognized, but it was very pretty to me. I’ll take pictures tomorrow.

We’ve been moving into our house. I’ve been only sporadically online and then only for specific reasons. Washing dishes and clothes and unpacking boxes and moving furniture around and washing drawers and cabinets and shelves has been a bigger job than I ever thought it would be. Bear’s been amazingly sweet. He’s also been jittery and very sleepy which is a bad combination. I do have to say, I couldn’t move without him. I remember moving into my dorm the first year of undergrad and how awful that felt even with Mom and Carl keeping me company for as long as they could. I just wish Bear would stop looking at furniture on craigslist. I’d rather put our clothes on the floor than look at another piece of wood or glass or metal that we don’t already own.

I’m really really not even joking.

A bird wearing a brown polyester shirt

I’m helping my mom with her psych/child development class, so I’ve been reading a lot about gender issues and gender typing and differences in development and treatment of the different genders. I know growing up we joked with my mom that she was very sexist. She would make my younger brother go out with me, not because it was safer in numbers but because he was a boy. Considering that he’s a year and a half younger and that at 17 and 15 this made a big difference I always thought she was nuts. I love my brother and often didn’t mind taking him along thankfully. Once we got past the annoying boy cootie stage of our lives, I’ve mostly loved having Carl around.

Back onto the topic. Linda and I have talked about when we have children multiple times. We’ve both also got a fair amount of exposure to young children and have experience taking care of children. I know at least once Linda’s made a comment about how she hates it when boys do x, where x is crying or whining or something. I know that feeling. When a little girl does something annoying, it can be fifty times more annoying in a boy. Or vice versa. A girl crying because she tripped and fell mostly makes me want to pick her up, smack her on the butt and say “Stop crying.” A little boy doing that though makes me want to pick him up and cuddle him until he stops. Mostly because boys do it more rarely than girls and boys tend to not even really want the cuddling whereas girls, the second you give them that attention they will just glomp all over you. But I’m wondering if this behavior is trained. I’m reading these papers about studies showing how parents will very subtly and unknowingly reward girls for “submissive” emotion and boys for “disharmonious” emotions.

I would really really REALLY love to know if anyone has any examples of things that annoy them more when a boy does them instead of a girl or vice versa. Not just because it helps with this class, but because now I’m curious whether this is just Linda and I reacting to our admittedly sexist natal cultures or if it’s more widespread.