April 18th, 2005


Surprises, thinking about posters for Laurel's room and a tangent that ends with Gordon Wiltsie.

The 120 Gb hard drive that I mentioned on Friday is in but not yet formatted because Vogon surprised me with a desk and a DVD/CD-RW drive on Saturday! (I'd previously had separate DVD and CD-RW drives.) Assembly and setup entailed a lot more decluttering than I expected, but I'll post photos after I get everything nicely arranged.

Other surprises:
  • Vogon found the bag of Hershey Kisses he'd picked up for me when he stocked Laurel's Easter basket, so I now have dulce de leche Kisses, double chocolate Kisses and Hershey extra creamy chocolate eggs [insert joke here] filling my newly decorated treat jar.

  • I identified the 'dragon fish' Vogon picked up at PetsMart as a violet goby, which can grow to up to 22" long. Eeps! Ours are currently ~6" long each and currently live in a ~35-gallon tank. If a window-shopping trip to our local aquarium shop is in order, I'm there. (:

  • Today's mail check (it'd been almost a week) included saarlander's package (garlic! kinder eggs! mustard!), the charter issue of Cook's Illustrated that came with our new subscription, and a care package for Laurel from Grandma Betty. I'll have to help her compose a thank-you note later.

I'd like to put some posters up on Laurel's walls; she has some framed pieces in storage, but they've been there for almost two years. The only Miss Spider poster I found other than the Miss Spider's Tea Party book cover art was the ALA's Spin A Tale and most of the bug posters I've found are twee, so I'm currently considering some combination of Spin A Tale, either Chameleon or Get The Hang Of It (with Stellaluna) from the ALA online store, and a reproduction of the 1940 WPA library poster Little Miss Muffet Reads from Zazzle.


Tangentially, I really like Little Red Riding Hood (1937) and Wee Willie Winkie Library (1940) from Zazzle's WPA library collection, but Little Miss Muffet Reads is far and away the one Laurel would love. The Neil Gaiman Recommends poster at the ALA store is awesome, but I don't know where I'd put it here. I'd hang Quiet Times Open Minds or Random Acts of Reading in a library or living room. It's nice to hold the reins in decoration here since I was disappointed when I found out Himself took the North Face expedition posters I'd framed. I mostly wanted the Gremlin's Cap poster because I like Gordon Wiltsie's work and a fine art print of the same image is way out of my league. If I had to pick a Wiltsie print to buy today, my top three choices would be Moonrise over Ama Dablam, Potala Palace, and Sherpa Climber.

Customs destroyed my violet garlic! *sniff*

Vogon was stationed in Germany during part of his time in the service and fondly remembers an incredibly strong violet garlic there; two to three cloves have the same strength as a whole bulb of the white garlic commonly found in the States. My best friend (saarlander, referred to as Tea later in this entry) is currently stationed there and offered to send us some when it came into season; he e-mailed me last week to let me know it had and he'd sent a package.

I retrieved the box when I checked the mail this afternoon and waited to open the box until Vogon got home. (I developed that habit because Himself *loved* opening packages to the point that he'd open things addressed to me if I wasn't in when the mail arrived, which spoiled a few birthday surprises.) Under the note Tea included with the package, we found a Customs form. It turns out that garlic "must be peeled and free of skins" for entry into the US, so they destroyed the garlic after it'd gotten all the way to DFW airport!

Scan of the Customs notice with addresses obscured (about 200kb at full size)

I am rather cranky, but the packing paper still smells like garlic three days after they removed it. It's like the Holy Grail of garlic now and Tea's note that trying it may cause any future children to "come out smelling like garlic for at least the first two years of their life" only fans the flame.


On the bright side, the feuersenf, kinder eggs and delicious-smelling sachets for making Glühwein arrived without incident.