Thursday, December 3, 2015

Critical Crustacean Crisis

Maine lobster? Nope, it's the elusive Northern Virginia Pond Mud lobster.

You see, I was walking my dog on the trail near the pond before work yesterday (while second guessing my decision to wear my favorite half-leather half-quilted over-the-knee riding boots, when I thought I saw a giant brown leaf. Much to my surprise, it was not a leaf but a soon to be extinct Aldie pond lobster. Immediately I hurried my dog on to her business so that I could run home and get a camera b/c surely no one would have believed me.

Back at the house I decided I also needed to save the poor thing from his soon to be extinction 10 feet away on the busy street. I grabbed my phone camera, a red bucket ('cause you know I wasn't touching it, and a yellow shovel ('cause you know I wasn't getting close). I am sure I was quite a sight for my neighbors in my thigh high leather and quilted boots with that big red bucket and yellow shovel running across the street.

As I neared the displaced creature, I pondered my rescue method. First I tried to scoop him (or her) up with the shovel, but he (or she) stood up and clawed at me. I then tried to shovel it into the bucket, and it turned its tail under and snapped his claws fighting for dear life -- or so it thought. Finally, after many attempts, I used the bucket and shovel together and got him in. Then I ran to the pond to throw it in before it tried to climb out. That’s when something small, black, furry, and fast shot across the grass just a few inches in front of me. I screamed, the bucket went flying into the pond, and I skidded across the grass. The heel flew off of my leather and quilted black knee high boots, the red bucket lay in the pond and Virginia Mud Lobster lay in the grass facing the wrong direction again. I hobbled back up the hill the retrieve my shovel while thinking about “survival of the fittest.”

My soft heart won and I decided to go back using the shovel now to fish out my bucket and scoop up the crustacean to throw into the murky water --  all while looking over my shoulder for the furry running beast. As I hobbled home with my heel in my hand, yellow shovel over my shoulder, and little red bucket in my other hand, I couldn't help but think that if it were any bigger, it would have been in my pot instead!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Pedagog's Less Than Perfect Pedicure

As the start of the school year quickly approached, I made a mental note to "get my toes done" the week before class was to begin. That week arrived and departed before I could even fathom a free moment to even call for an appointment, let alone actually go.

Two weeks out: "I'll get them done next week."

Seven days out: "I'll get them done tomorrow."

Six days out: "I'll get them done tomorrow."

Five days out: "I'll get them done tomorrow."

Two days out: "I'll get them done tomorrow."

One day out: "They are not that bad, no one will notice that tiny chip. "I'll get them done next weekend."

The morning of: "Oh no! Three of them have chips! Must have happend in the shower. I'll just do a quick one coat over them. Oh no! it's the wrong color! It looked the same til I put it on. Is it close enough of a match? No, I will just cover all of them in that color."

Ten minutes later: "Oh no! My pants have smeared them! I will have to take the bottle and do them in my classroom before the students arrive. I hope no one sees me."

Thirty minutes and 12 miles later I ran to my teacher teamate to say I need five minutes. I found her with her leg in the air reapplying polish on her own toes. We then hobbled off together all stiff legged to our morning duty.

That night after I removed the tacky, smeared, but dry mess, I applied cuticle cream which needs to soak, so I jumped in the tub were I was able to both read the 6th grade book I was using for class and soak my tootsies at the same time. I was always good at mulititasking; I just hope cuticle cream does no harm to the tushy. Once out, there was still no time for polish, so the next day I had to go naked toes to class. Finally the following day (about two weeks after the initial intent, I slapped on another messy coat of polish on my way out the door and prayed I did not bump into anything with my less than perfect pedicure. After all, it would be another two weeks till I had time to do them again.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Throw-Back Memory Jarred by a South Carolina Death

Every Thursday is considered Throwback Thursday on Facebook. People find old pictures of themselves or family members and post them for fun. However, yesterday's video of an unarmed man who had been stopped for a routine traffic ticket fleeing for his life and shot in the back and then framed with a relocated taser, brought back memories of my own scary traffic stop late one night on a wooded Fairfax County back road. In lieu of a twenty year old picture of my self I chose to post a throw back Memory:
It was 1992 and very late, perhaps after 11:00 o'clock at night. I had just returned from a full and tiring day flying across America and wanted only to go to bed. As I neared my rented room in a friend's apartment I saw a Fairfax police car pass me going in the other direction. I knew I was going to be stopped.
I was young and broke and had just been hired as a flight attendant. They based me away from my home state leaving me with $2000 to move, pay first and last months rent, and buy a car. I was thrilled to find one for $400. It was clean-- inside anyway-- with low mileage, but had a smashed driver's door.
He saw me pass, immediately made a U-turn and followed me for about a half a mile until I tapped on my brakes. That's when he saw my brake light was out. Suddenly it was red lights in my rear view mirror and then a bright white in my face. I showed him my credentials. I showed him my insurance. I showed him the receipt and the new bulb that I had tried to put in but found did not fit. I explained that I did not live here and that it was an airport car. I told him how I tried to fix it two days earlier when I had arrived from Cleveland for my trip and that I was going back to find someone else to replace it tomorrow.
He sneered and snarled. He did a walk around barking at me to turn on this blinker and that blinker, turn on my wipers and step on my brakes. The only thing that did not work was the light bulb which I had a receipt and new bulb for. I told him I did not live here and that my transfer had finally gone thru so this was truly my last week. He said "Not my problem! Take it up with the magistrate!" By then I was crying as I silently took the ticket and rolled up my window.
The worse part was that he trailed me slowly for three miles all the way into my commuter pad parking lot. He stopped with me and sat there with his lights on me as I got my suitcase out, and walked across the lot to enter my commuter pad apartment where I was renting a small basement bedroom to be used twice a month. He did not leave until I closed the door behind me.
My only crime was that the light bulb post was rusted, and the bulb would not come out. I had the dated receipt, and proof that I was moving the next week, but I was still trailed and intimidated. As a single black female on a lonely unlit back wooded area road, I was left feeling alone and terrified. I wonder what he would have done if I were male.