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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Good Customers"

My summer job is at a cafe called Ellen's in Old Town Spring.  I work at the counter serving fudge and ice cream.

Some days, you get a real good customer.  The kind that makes you smile for real, not just the obligatory "thanks for coming" smile.

Maybe a spritely woman from Britain who strikes up a little conversation.

Maybe an old cowboy with a classic voice and amazing facial hair,

It could be a pair of ladies content just to talk of the otherworldly Houston weather.

A good customer isn't made by the tips they give or the amount they spend at the counter.  A good customer is the person that brightens your day.

The person that, after they leave, makes you say to yourself "I guess this isn't so bad after all."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New arrival at HMNS

HMNS has a new Corpse Flower! Are you excited?! I sure am!

This joyous occasion brings back memories of Lois, a sassy Amorphophallus titanum (Heh heh, phallus...) who caused an uproar at the Houston Museum of Natural Science last summer.

Sadly, I didn't get to meet this awesome plant... It pains me to say it, but I have never seen Lois in person.

I suggested some names for the newest plant, one of them being "Anuja." I really love the sound of it, plus the meaning. Anuja is a Sanskrit word that can mean "little sister." I suggested a Sanskrit name because Corpse Flowers originally come from Sumatra/Indonesia. She's the little sibling of Lois, so the name seems fitting.

Plus, it's just so cute~! Just like the new corpse flower!

(Anuja can also mean little brother, but HMNS's new Corpse Flower has been referred to as a girl so far... Whatever gender this little leaf turns out to be, the name Anuja will still fit.)

It's so exciting! I just want to hug her!

Yes, I'm sure this is creeping you out... This unnatural love of corpse flowers that I have... But I can't help it! Eek! I'm shivering with anticipation!

And, Lordy! There are some names that people suggest that just irk my nerves. Like "Lane."

Lois Lane, really?! Lois wasn't named after Lois Lane from Superman. She was named after Eddie Holik's mum. (Eddie Holik used to be the director of the Butterfly Center at HMNS.)

That and "Lane" is just a lame name idea makes me disapprove.

It also seems popular to suggest random "L" names that just sound good next to Lois.

And someone even suggested Peter, as in Lois and Peter Griffin. Yeah, Family Guy. That just enraged me.

I think names with meaning and feeling are important... Not trying to sound selfish, but I hope Anuja at least makes the list of finalists...

Now, don't forget to check out the HMNS blog BEYONDbones to stay updated on the museum's antics!

Plus, here's a song for Lois that was written and performed by a volunteer at the museum. (This is from when Houston was waiting for Lois to bloom.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Out on a Limb - Viniculture! And... Piña-culture?!

I've dreamed for a few years now about making my own wine. Today, I woke up with a spark in my chest... Off to the computer I dashed, logging on to the internets with great haste! Thus, my morning was spent researching vineyards and grape-growing.

There are already some grape vines in my backyard, and the plant itself seems to be growing well. It has survived for, what, three or so years? When you take Houston's climate into account, that's a great feat.

The problem is, it hardly produces any grapes. The few clusters it does manage are super tiny.

It's hardly enough to make a glass of juice for a mouse.

This'll take lots more research... Stay 'tuned!


Another thing that I've been wanting to do is grow pineapples. They are supposed to be an easy plant to take care of. However, my many attempts over the years, those of setting the crown in a bowl of water to get the plant started, have only ended in failure.

So, like any other struggling gardener, I turned to the internet. Several hours of research later, I decided to give this King of Fruits another chance.

I'll be using this website and also this one while on my journey to Shangra-l'ananas.

Now, excuse me, I have to go buy a pineapple...