The Lizard Chronicles

Some of this is true. Some of this is better. –Too Much Joy

The Mystery of Stevie Nicks Day August 12, 2018

It began in 2015 (at least as far as I know). The online calendar of the Luxembourg-American Cultural Society proclaimed that August 12 wast Stevie Nicks Day. Why? I had no idea. A quick google search revealed to me that Stevie Nicks was not a Luxembourger by heritage, nor was she born on August 12. Curious. An e-mail to the LACS asking about the Nicks-Luxembourg connection was met with no answer, and within a few days of said inquiry, Stevie Nicks Day mysteriously disappeared from the LACS calendar.

Was it a joke? Was some Stevie Nicks fan at the LACS messing around or running some sort of test? Oh, Starlee Kine, where are you and your Mystery Show when we need you?!

Regardless of its unclear origins, let us don fringe, or perhaps some leather and lace, to celebrate this joyous day! Stand back! I’m going to do some twirling!

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Celebrating Stevie Nicks Day in 2015

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Straight Talk About Feral Shopping Carts August 3, 2018

Filed under: Life tales,Oddities,photography — lizardesque @ 5:00 pm
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During the warmer months of the year, I spend quite a lot of time walking and riding my bike on the path in the forest preserve near my house. I’ve been frequenting this preserve for more than a decade now, and until quite recently, feral shopping carts were a pretty rare sight there. Sure, I saw a few over the years, but I certainly didn’t consider them a problem.

A little over a month ago, I spotted this cart. Having seen feral shopping carts in the past, I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it normally, but it’s bright orange color and the fact that it was flipped on it’s end made it stand out to me. My initial impulse was to help it by setting it on its wheels, but I know better than to get too close to a feral cart. They have been known to ram and scratch and are notorious for spreading disease.

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It begins.

A week or so later, I spotted another cart, and then another just a few days later. Before I knew it, just over a month had passed, and I had seen seven feral shopping carts in that time. I can’t say for certain that each sighting involved a different cart, but there were at least four of them–I know this because of their distinct markings. I could no longer deny that feral shopping carts were becoming a problem in my neighborhood forest preserve.

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A blue one!

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This one is a little shy.

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OMG, they’re everywhere!

In an effort to curb this growing problem and prevent similar issues in other areas, I feel compelled to offer the following tips on how to avoid contributing to the problem.

  • Do your part to keep carts from going stray. If you use shopping carts provided by retailers, return them to the proper places after you have finished your shopping. Proper places include depositories within stores (usually placed near the exits/entrances) and conveniently placed corrals in parking lots. Do not leave your carts free to roam in parking lots, as this increases the likelihood of their escape. Besides, only sociopaths abandon their carts uncorraled.
  • Do not set shopping carts “free.” You may think that by taking a cart out of a store or parking lot, you are opening it up to a glorious and free life, but that’s not the case. Most carts have spent their entire lives in captivity and have not developed the skills necessary to fend for themselves. Sadly, some carts have been altered by store owners who aim to slow shoppers down in efforts to increase the time (and thus money) they spend in stores. Such alterations further hinder carts’ survival in the wild.
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The sad fate of one feral cart

  • Resist the impulse to acquire your own cart. Think carefully before bringing a shopping cart into your home. Sure, shopping carts are cute and fun, especially when they are young, but remember that they require care and commitment. The sad fact is that many shopping carts acquired on impulse end up being neglected. Often, these carts run away or are “set free” from their neglectful homes and must survive in the wild (see above for more on this) .
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This poor cart was overturned and we unable to right itself on its own!

You may be wondering if there are trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs for shopping carts (as there are for feral cats in some communities). Unfortunately, at the present time, it’s not possible to spay or neuter shopping carts as they have no discernible genitalia. In fact, although shopping carts hav long been reproduced in laboratories, scientists remain mystified as to how they breed in the wild. Thus, the best defense against an out-of-control shopping cart population lies in not letting the carts get out in the first place.

We can solve this problem if we all do our part!

 

This Is a Thing Now? July 10, 2018

Filed under: Oddities,Poetry,Writing — lizardesque @ 7:59 am
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Wayward shopping carts

Along forest preserve path

Saw three this morning

 

I Can Help With That! July 9, 2017

Filed under: Animals,Oddities,Poetry — lizardesque @ 10:52 am
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World needs more poems

About bipedal beavers

Living on the moon

 

Julaiku 2, Day 23 July 23, 2016

Filed under: Oddities,Poetry — lizardesque @ 5:36 pm
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Everything is better with them.

July 23, 2016

Car games can be fun

Bipedal lunar beavers

Not easy to guess

 

Boston or Bust Part 1: Luggage Envy, Velociraptors, Chupacabras, and Disco Shakespeare September 20, 2014

I recently traveled to Boston to cover the joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting for my job. My originally scheduled flight was cancelled due to the anticipation of bad weather, but that was fine with me since it meant I didn’t have to get up at OMG-early-thirty to get to the airport on time. I was rebooked on an early afternoon flight, and, upon receiving my boarding pass, I was completely unsurprised to be in boarding group 18 of 4. I invariably find myself in the last possible boarding group, as if the powers that be are planning to let me on the plane only when everyone else is not only seated but has been served a round of cocktails and is napping comfortably. I miss the good old days when planes were boarded from the back to the front, as I also always seem to get a seat in the back of the plane. This time was no exception. Of course, the overhead space near my seat had been full for roughly a decade before I arrived. A flight attended told me she’d figure something out and instructed me to wait in the area at the end of the aisle. After several minutes, it became apparent that said flight attendant had forgotten about me, and a second attendant inquired as to why I was standing around at the back of the plane with my bag.

“The other woman told me to stand here and wait, but then she disappeared.”

Second flight attendant told me she would look into it and scurried off. Not too much later, first flight attendant reappeared and motioned for me to come forward. They had found a spot for my bag in first class. I found myself slightly jealous of my bag’s luxe accommodations as I hoisted it into the overhead bin and shuffled back to my seat in coach.

The flight was uneventful, and for the next few days, I spent most of my time on conference coverage. I’ll spare you the details and just mention a few highlights.

  • When I work long hours, my mind sometimes plays tricks on me (I think, to provide some comic relief). It is times like these, when I see T-cell receptor vaccination on the screen in front of me and my brain somehow changes that to velociraptors. I’m guessing that it would be pretty hard to get IRB approval for a trial of velociraptors as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, but the very idea was good for a laugh.
  • I’m not sure which excites me more, free lip balm or free cookies. It probably depends on which I have a greater need for at the time, lip moisture or a sugar bump. Anyhow, both are appreciated and often available at conference exhibits.
  • My team and I completed our work before midnight on two out of three nights. OK, it wasn’t much before midnight, but still, this is precedence breaking!
  • The room service menu at my hotel offered this on the children’s menu (which I sometimes peruse for in search of meat-free options). Somehow, I managed to resist the lure of the souvenir hippo, but, let me tell you, it was not easy.

GelatoHippo

By mid-afternoon on Saturday, I was done with conference coverage, and it was time to prepare for a bit of fun time in Boston, which included a brief shopping trip for emergency tights. The weather was much cooler than I had anticipated, and I knew I would be chilly wearing only the dress that I had brought for Saturday night. I needed tights and a scarf or wrap. The irony here is, not only do I own about a metric ton of tights and boatload of scarves and wraps (all of which were at home), but also, I usually over-pack for every trip I take, ensuring that I have many options and am fully prepared for unanticipated meteorologic phenomena. I’m not sure why I neglected to bring tights or a wrap, but I was able to properly equip myself with a quick trip to Marshalls.

My brother Chris, who lives in Cambridge, met me at my hotel, and we had a drink at the bar before heading out to dinner at The Gallows, where my friend Jenny also joined us. I liked The Gallows from the moment I walked in and saw this on one of the walls.

Ouija

I was also highly amused to see this on the menu.

BoonesI was somewhat aghast at the price, though. I’m not sure what Boones costs at the supermarket these days, but when I was in college (which was, I admit, a shockingly long time ago), it cost about $2.50 per bottle. But then again, how can you really put a price on an experience that is like licking a unicorn?

As tempting as it was to drink in some college nostalgia, I opted instead to order a drink called the chupacabra. I really enjoy saying the word chupacabra, so I’m pretty pleased any time I can easily work it into conversation. It was also a delicious drink. The Gallows menu also offered something I don’t recall ever having seen before: vegetarian poutine. I’d never tried poutine before, mainly because of the paucity of vegetarian versions, but also because it always sounded to me like something that could be really good, bad-for-me comfort food but also had the potential to go very wrong and be a soggy, repulsive mess. The vegetarian poutine at The Gallows, however, was great.

After dinner, Chris and I headed to the American Repertory Theater to see The Donkey Show, which I can only describe as an interactive, glittery, disco-dancing, Shakespeare extravaganza. Not once, but twice, during the show, my brother was pulled up on a platform to dance with a chorus dancer, and I couldn’t help but think that this will be a cherished family memory for years to come.

 

Charmingly Odd and Seemingly Random February 2, 2014

A List of Very Brief E-mails and Texts From My Mother:

  • Have you ever heard of lexile measure? (August 7, 2013)
  • Do you eat potato salad? (August 8, 2013)
  • What size shoe do you wear? (September 8, 2013)
  • Have you ever worn stockings with seams up the back? (September 24, 2013)
  • OK, there was the Beat Generation, the Hip Generation, what came next? (October 6, 2013)
  • Festivals is on! (December 23, 2013; I’m pretty sure she was referring to the Festivus episode of Seinfeld)
  • Do you have any brown/white paper lunch bags? (January 15, 2014)
  • Ain’t. I’ve been hearing this more and more. It bothers me. (February 1, 2014)