Bald-hip rose.  (Rosa gymnocarpa).  I have a new app for my phone (when do we get to stop saying, "for my phone"?  Like, "I have this new app for my _____ (knee?  Yoga mat?).  Anyway, it's called Shadow, and They are gathering data about our dreams.  Creepy or cool?  I am perhaps the only person on the planet who doesn't give a rip about my privacy.  Learn about me, try to sell me shit.  As long as I get to keep the internet, sure, I'll tell you my hopes and dreams and let you track every single thing I search for on line, and sure, use the phone that's in my pocket to detect where I hover in a store, what I might be interested in, and try to sell it to me.  But most especially, have at my dreams.  (By the way, internets, if you're actually listening?  I could care less about belly fat.)  But anyway, I get notifications on my phone every time someone somewhere has a dream.  I know.  Don't think too hard about that or you'll wind up in a pool of tears.  Trust me on this. All the humans, sleeping and dreaming and repeating their dreams into the phone so an anoymous audience can catalogue them, and random people click "like" or offer a comment, such as, "wow, that was a weird dream!".  I don't really do much else anymore but listen to the dreams.

It has just occurred to me as I write this that I spend my night-time hours listening to (mostly) coherent wide-awake people telling stories or talking about science via podcasts, and I spend the daytime hours listening to sleepy incoherent people saying stuff like this:  Several people [yawn] wanted to either take pizza from me or give me pizza, [yawn] but they also wanted to talk about my dream, and we were standing around but then I realized it was just a dream and it wasn't appropriate for them to be inside my house, so we went outside, and there was more pizza, but there was some laundry on the line and I couldn't reach the shirt.  -Dreamer from L.A.

See how fun this is?  It's like waking up with someone all warm and sleepy and semi-out of it without the hassle of having to negotiate all the time.  Your week will be like that too:  warm, sleepy, and semi-out of it, but unfortunately, there will be hassle.  I'm sorry to bear that prediction.

Wild ginger.  (Asarum caudatum).  I had a lovely time doing the advice column game with a few awesome smart people the other day.  The game, in case you're unfamiliar, goes like this:
1.  One person (and it's always me, fyi), reads the headline.  The players have to decide if they're better than, equivalent to, or worse off than the writer of the letter.  [Hint:  better than is a safe bet.  This might sound arrogant at first, but once you play for a while you'll see my point.  How often have you had a problem that is best solved by writing to a random advice-columnist?]
2.  I read the letter aloud.
3.  We each propose our response.
4.  We read the actual response, and decide how we fare (better than, worse than, etc.)

Okay, we can play that here, people!  Just send in some advice questions.  I'm so on it.

gigantic meadowrue (Thalictrum something or other).  I heard something interesting about lines (do you like how I didn't say I listened to not one, but two podcasts about lines?  Yes, I know!  That's me being slick.), which is that there aren't many you can't buy your way out of anymore.  You can pay for expedited review, you can pay to get into a HOV lane all by yourself, you can pay to get out of the airport hassle, and even pay extra to skip the lines at water parks.  But there's one line that is totally in old-fashioned order, which is the queue to get in to SNL.  There's one guy who goes every week, stands out there all night, just to make sure no one cheats.  I'm glad that's not my volunteer position, but still, I do wish there were more situations where there was an actual arbiter saying, "You, time out.  Bad behavior."  But, let's each be our own line-watcher.  Don't cut, be kind, apologize if you hurt someone, etc.  Don't rely on that guy, I can't remember his name, but he is out there every week telling people not to cut, and that you can't hold spots for people who aren't there, and so on.  And I think he might have some terrible medical condition too.  Be that guy.  (Not the part with the medical condition though.)

Common Turks Cap (Malvaviscus penduliflorus).  Oh, the flower that never really opens.  Arrgh.  
I don't even know where to begin.  Pollinated by hummingbirds though.  That's a start.

Bougainvillea  (Bougainvillea sp.).  You people love the alabaster, you do.  I kind of see the allure, all smooth and impenetrable, but I don't think it works out for you.  Kind of one-sided.  But that's not the point here.

My booty call boss asked me yesterday to help put together interview questions so he can hire my replacement.  I know.  It's like, "Hey, you know better than anyone what I like in a gf; can you help me find a new one?"  Of course I said yes.

But I had just listened to a podcast on that very subject, interview questions; they suggested to ask, "What do you think I'll have for lunch today?" because it gives an indication of how people behave when they don't have a clue, which is most of us all the time, and you want to weed out the people who get mean or cocky or too uncomfortable when they don't know the answer.  I didn't say I heard it on a podcast, though.  I said I heard it on the radio.  The radio doesn't sound quite so cat-lady-ish.  The radio could have just been on.  Like in the car, or a store or something.  It's not like I'm some weirdo that listens to podcasts about random shit, all night long.  Oh, excuse me, Booty Call Boss, a dream has just come in on my phone, gotta go.  You see what I mean?  Always say the radio, and act a bit vague.  "I heard something somewhere recently -- maybe it was on the radio?"

Anyway.  He said it was a great question and he even typed it up on his list and showed it to me, there it was as question #10, and I was kind of pleased until someone else told me there's no way he'd ever ask that question, he was just trying to make me feel better.  Right?  I'm so damn easy.  It would totgally make me feel better about everything, mortality, loneliness, how I keep wrecking computers, disappearing friends -- the whole damn business -- if he would just ask the people who are about to get my job for way less money if they can guess what he's going to have for lunch.  Oh my god.

So sorry that I didn't get to all of your flowers this time.  But I will!


  1. Okay. I will give you my real favorite flower(s) now. I can't choose between the two because, well, although they are both incredibly different, they are my favorite favorites.
    The magnolia blossom and the camellia blossom. Of the camellias, my favorite is the pink perfection. Of the magnolias, the bloom of the Granda Flora.

  2. I also really, really love the fairy slipper orchid (Calipso bulbosa) which some years but not every year pops up in wooded areas only when the conditions are exactly right. My mother and I used to go hunting for the tiny flowers in the mountain woods in Colorado every spring, and some years they were elusive or non-existent, but every so often we would hit a mother lode where the ground would be blanketed with them, just in one small spot, and it was magical. Sort of like hunting for mushrooms, only prettier and you wouldn't want to eat them.

  3. Favorite flowers, that is like asking for favorite children...so guess I never get a florascope. Stranger's dreams...only would listen if I thought they might make it into a good mystery. But both of these give you subject matter for blogging, so who am I to look askance.

  4. Strange dreams...how strange. But I have a cat sounds app, so who's to say.

  5. So, what would YOU do, Betsy, if a prospective employer asked you that question? Assuming it was not your booty call boss, because you probably already know the answer to that. If it was me, I'd make a joke about it; I wonder if that would be bad or good ...

    I was going to say I don't know enough about flowers to have a favourite, but yes, yes I actually have one! Or a bunch. Dianthus, any size, but particularly the wee little ones. Maybe not exotic, but reliable for this black-thumbed gardener.

    When I think of someone who listens to podcasts, I think of smart people. Just my two cents. (FYI, I don't listen to them, but keep thinking I should, in the spirit of self-improvement.)

    Have a good week, Betsy :)

  6. " It's like, "Hey, you know better than anyone what I like in a gf; can you help me find a new one?"
    What kind of jackass would ask a question like that?

    1. Yeah, it isn't exactly like that. But close. It's like this: I worked for the government for 15 years, and got laid off. But they were too busy to keep up, so they hired me back a few months later as a temporary, for less money and without benefits. And then they asked me to help hire my replacement (a younger man who would get paid less than I was making). So, sort of like that? Oh, do I sound bitter? OOPS!!!


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