Dear Abby,

I am in a quandary, and I need your advice. Two years ago I got my No. One Fan (let’s call her “Miss K”), who loved and adored me and even named her cat after me. I would write to her every now and then on my blog, telling her all about my adventures and letting her know what was going on in my neighborhood. Occasionally she would return nice comments for me, and it would always make me happy to hear from her. Although it was irregular, I could always expect a nice note from Miss K every so often. Well, this stopped about six months ago, and I haven’t heard from Miss K since then. I know that people have things going on in their lives, and Miss K probably just got busy. I didn’t mind it so much, but I figured Miss K had already forgotten about me and moved on.

So, a couple of days ago, I asked Miss S on my blog if she would like to be my new No. One Fan, to which I was so happy to hear “yes”! It is such a good feeling to have a No. One Fan! I was looking forward to this new relationship, when lo and behold, Miss K resurfaced! She apologized for being missing in action, but she had been very busy.

So now I don’t know what to do. Should I rescind my offer to Miss S? Should I have two No. One Fans? Any thoughts you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Quandarified in Oakland

P.S.  Mama L. said it’s unlikely that you would respond to a dog, but she pointed out that my chances would be improved if I tell you that it’s a similar analogy to having a Maid-of-Honor who backed out and then came back.

BTW, my name is Madeleine. I am pretty sure that no other dog in Oakland has the same quandary.


Midnight ramblings, 08/26/11

Friday nights have got to be my favorite time of the week. The work week is done; big plans for the weekend are in full swing; maybe it’s a date night; generally, everybody feels good on a Friday night.

Tonight, we came home to a beautiful backyard! Mr. Long (our gardener) had put in No-Mow sod, an irrigation system with bubblers and drip lines, planted two blueberry bushes (yay!) and a persimmon tree (yay!) and transplanted one of our dwarf citrus lime bushes (yay!) Oh, and the rescue bougainvillea. I have several waist-high planter boxes ready to go, complete with topsoil. Now I just have to figure out what to grow. I have decided that this is the year for edibles. As much as I like flowers and other pretty things, I am really after growing as much food stuff as we can sustainably maintain. Back to mother earth, so to speak.

One of my favorite seed companies is Kitawaza Seed Company. They carry hundreds of heirloom Asian vegetable varieties. I sent them an email tonight suggesting that they put some advice/tips on their website so that we know what to grow and when. Living in a micro-climate such as Oakland poses some challenges. Our true “summer” doesn’t really occur until late September/early October. But that’s fall season elsewhere. I would love some year-long greens, though. Collards, kale, swiss chard, broccoli – these are vegetables we eat everyday. Maybe I’ll hear back from them.

Michelle is fast asleep in the other room, even though she claimed that she’s only closing her eyes but “watching” TV. Little G! is sprawled out on Mama M. At least Madeleine is hanging out with me; although (secretly) I think she needs to go outside to pee. After this post.

Today has been a good day. It was Amy’s birthday — she’s somewhere back east celebrating it with her family. Mercury went direct today at 3:03 p.m. PDT, for those observing. I am so relieved. It has been a strange month. However, I got just about everything done at work today, except for reviewing Iris’s OMC. And I had a terrific bike ride home.

So, the thing about bike rides is that you notice every little thing. And you think about every little thing when you’re on your bike. On some days I think about saving the planet. The debt ceiling, the stupid wars, humankind’s cruelty and greed. These are usually fleeting thoughts, however, because I realize that humankind has been trying to figure all this stuff out for a few millenia without much success.

And then my thoughts usually turn to the more mundane.

For example, I notice things like the change in the slope of roadway. The distance from home to work (and vice versa) is about 2.58 miles. There is a very slight decline from home to work, but the incline on the reverse route to home is quite noticeable. My personal best record traveling TO work is 21.7 mph, or about 11.20 minutes. The reverse route? With the wind behind me and my tires pumped full: 17.2 mph. But on an average day after a long day at work, it’s about 11.3 mph. I told Michelle once that I would never have the patience that it takes to be in a triathlon. I like a lot of speed on my bicycle.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland is an interesting stretch of roadway. It is one of the longest stretch with the least amount of traffic signals — the main reason I chose this route. MLK runs through some of the most destitute parts of Oakland; drugs and prostitution are rampant here. But so are grandmothers out sweeping their front porches in the early hours of the morning. The graffiti art on this stretch is incredible. But, NOBODY tags on anybody else’s work. This is one neighborhood trying to reinvent and redefine itself. The City is installing a neighborhood park at the 25th Street intersection. Every morning, the locals gather around the soon-to-be park, keeping eye on the progress the City is making.

The one thing that always baffles me on such thought-provoking sojourns is the garbage I see on the street. I totally get the food stuff — empty chip bags, chicken bones, MickeyD’s bags, fast food containers. I get the 7-11 crap — condoms, diapers, lip gloss. I definitely get the roadkill — there were two rats and one bird this week — kind of a morbid fascination, but they keep getting flatter everytime I rode by them this week. I even get the hair fragments:

“Woman, hold my baby!”
“Oh hell no, I ain’t holding your baby!”
“Fine! Then hold my weave!”
“OK, sure sugah”  *toss*

But shoes?!? That’s the one thing I can’t figure out. This week it was a perfectly good pair of Uggs. Why do people throw shoes out of their car? Did they realize that their shoes were no longer fashionable? Did their feet suddenly get too hot? Or maybe it’s something more along the romantic line? “Baby, I love you, but those shoes have got to go!”