Pelagia Noctiluca

Pelagia Noctiluca

Monday, May 26

How did "survey" become "meme"?

I'm about to do a SURVEY as I sip my coffee, and I'm hung up as always on the word MEME. This trendy concept is teetering on the edge of the "where's the beef?" and "not" trash sack. According to some random site,

"A meme is:
An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes"."

So, I suppose that a survey can count as #2, but I have a hard time viewing my personal stats as "a unit of cultural information." Granted, my words sound more important when framed this way, but I'd just rather have some fries with ketchup.


Favorite person (outside family)? I've turned all my favorite people inside out, and now they are my family.

Favorite food? Diet Coke, which I'm considering quitting lately, but........

Quirks about you? I get hung up on stupid catch phrases that irritate me for no good reason. So if a meme is an idea that replicates and evolves, like a gene, what are some modern-day examples? Recycling? Pilates? Midget Porn? The Brazilian Wave? Maybe it's because I work with kids, or maybe it's that I like fibrous materials, but Dude, grown-ups should have body hair. There is enough to consider when removing clothing for the first time with someone, without worrying about slippery or stubbly baldness. Let's paint banners and picket. Ban the Brazilian! Bring back the Bush!

Any regrets in life? I'm a stubborn Pollyanna. I really don't do regret, I can name something positive I got out of every single experience.

Favorite Charity/Cause? I think I covered that two questions back.

Favorite Blog recently? Yarnwhore pointed me here: elyse sewell

Something you can’t get enough of? Diet Coke. Do I need to go back to Tab and just have one a day? I found a smelly market here that sells them by the singles. Chug, toss, peel out.

Worst job you’ve ever had? This is almost a regret, if I were to have those, olan mills family portraits. I sold my soul on the "dinner shift" for two months.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Anything to do with fish or cockroaches.

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? Everywhere. I would be fly battalions and know all. Except I'd rather be a gnat, so I don't have to eat my own vomit.

Favorite Bible verse right now? "That's a tough one Bob, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite."

Got any confessions? Now I have Violent Femmes in my head.

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Art supplies and a vacation to a friend.

Favorite thing about your house? It's quiet and mine.

Least favorite thing about your house? I still need a dog.

One thing you are bad at? Paperwork, stripping speaker wire.

One thing you’re good at? My job, crafty crap, and I can cook now.

What makes you feel sexy? Body hair. Sorry. Hmm..... Saccharin.

What is the hardest part of your job? Politics.

When are you most relaxed? In the middle of a painting.

What stresses you out? Paperwork, understanding insurance crap.

What can you not live without? Art supplies and crafty crap.

Why do you blog? Because I miss paper-writing, and I like to hear myself blather on.

Friday, May 16

That's no heater

I woke up this morning thinking I'd left the heater on high, but no. The warmth is natural Springtime beaming in, considerate and replenishing. There are large amounts of trash outside that landed throughout the night on the lawn across the street, and a sign I need to go investigate more closely. I was ushered to my car by police when I went out last night. My block was lined with cop cars, a Jail van, and an armored car/van/contraption. As I pulled away, about 10 heavily armed cops were surrounding the house across the street. Half of them were still there until 3am. My favorite part was the cry of "Cops Smoke Crack!" from a passing car, followed by a loud "Wump" of something landing on the lawn. Ballsy, eh? I was really amused at how much heckling took place. It seems that I'm not the only disgruntled civilian in town.

Monday, May 12

Some of my best friends are cops

That's such a bad joke, oh well. A smidge of my cop faith was restored last night. When I said I had encountered one or two good ones, he was who I was thinking of, and the one who showed up last night. He was compassionate, realistic and human. He was kind to the kid while arresting him, and he was a hard-ass on the phone to detention when they tried to refuse him. The kid had threatened me with a knife this time, and another staff with other various heavy objects. Dispatch is tired of hearing about this kid, so they only sent one cop, instead of the usual pair. So, there finally is the chance that he won't be back in the house today.

The day began with adrenaline and chaos, and ended with storytime. I love that teenagers let me read to them. I read "There's a Hair in My Dirt," by Gary Larson, and one of them exclaimed, "this guy's as weird as you!" Now I have a list of kid book requests, so I'm going to the library on my way to work. And tomorrow, I have the day off.

Thursday, May 8


So, the kid spent 14 hours in juvie and returned to the house. Nothing has changed. Assault charges are pending, and he's still waiting for a hospital placement. The whole thing seems like a huge waste of time and mental effort. The arrest means nothing, which brings us, (staff, us), back to the original position of why bother calling the police at all. We don't call based on the action of being hit or shoved. We call when a kid is so out of control that the other kids are unsafe. Usually, we call after 4-5 separate incidents, or if a kid refuses to put down a weapon of some sort. But, once it's down the police won't take them. So Kid X sets the stick, bottle of bleach, glass shard, and nods respectfully to the officer for about 20 minutes. Which is handy, in that it removes a kid from the group for that amount of time, but useless in the long run. It seems that the only reason to call the cops is to get a kid out of the house for the night, which I guess, is helpful. But, it doesn't help the kid at all, it just shuts him up for a few hours. So, blah blah blah, that's my system vent about the depressing side of my job.

On the flip side, my hippie neighbor gave me his apartment and all it's contents yesterday. Bequeathed, so to speak, so he can bolt for the midwest, because that's how he rolls. His words, not mine. I haven't investigated yet, but the curiosity will have me there by tomorrow. Only in O-Town, or only to me, I'm not sure. Maybe I gave birth to this town in a former life.

Wednesday, May 7

Cop Vent

I have never liked cops. Police officers. I figured it was just me for a while, and I'd get over it as I matured. Became legal. Looked normal. Whatever. This a venty vent, no flowers today. Algernon rots in the slammer. I have met 2 maybe 3 good ones, and I know there must be more. I know there must be police who have hearts and open minds and use them. There is one in particular who is awesome, and when I know he is nearby, I'm more likely to call them when I need them. Last night at work was crappy and high-pitched, and there seemed to be hardly a minute not spitting with adrenaline. I pressed charges against one of my kids for shoving me. This is the second time a kid has been arrested due to me. I hate this part of the job more than when the toilet exploded in my face and hair. He could have been arrested on saturday for shoving me then, or grabbing and pushing an old lady staff, or throwing a stick at yet another staff's face, or shoving me three separate times on sunday. We called the police earlier yesterday when he was running around the house with knives from the kitchen. The cop said, you see, he was just kidding and doesn't understand. The cop actually was very compassionate to the kid, so noted and appreciated. However, he refused to arrest him over the knives. (Regular table knives, not chopping ones.) Never mind the other kids living in the house. We called again after I got shoved twice, and the cop said, "What do you want me to do, he's only 12." Yep, 12. With numerous assault charges. I called all the right bosses, and they all said press charges, and the cop grilled me on how is this therapeutic for the kid. He said he's not in the business of arresting 12 year olds. Really? Because, that's my favorite part of the job. By the time the cop actually took him, the kid was medicated and curled up in pajamas. I wish they could arrest a kid the next morning and let him sleep, but no. So, the cop shuffled him out in his pj's and I was heartless wretch who signed off on the paperwork. So, even though this is a rant about being treated shittily by the po po, the po po treated the kid how I wanted him to. Fucked up twist. Maybe it's just me who is always on the wrong side of the law. I don't know. I just know that last night sucked, and I'm still rattled and need lots of loud music, and a shower.

Cop Killer


Saturday, May 3


Check out my high-techness to the right. Yes, it's one of those fancy counter dealies. I started at 111, and I'm pretty sure most hits since are me messing with it, but still. I might as well have built a robot.

I'm not so much in the mood to go to work today. Oh well, too bad for me. Means I need to do something messy when I get there.

Thursday, May 1

Go Suck a Hoof

At least I'm not a vegetarian. Are hooves and connective tissue really that much worse than muscle and skin? Before yesterday, I would have said absolutely, but now I have to reorganize my values. I thought Ashley was whacked yesterday making non-gelatin krispie treats. I also thought they were marshmellows, not mallows. But, it seems it was I who was whacked and woefully misinformed. My information is outdated by about 150 years. I shared my plight with a co-worker who plans to laugh at me for the next 3 weeks. He said, "What, you thought marshmallows came from the marshmallow plant, that grows on the bank of a marsh?"

Yes, that's exactly what I thought, dammit. I did some fancy internet research, and learned that I was right! Or, that I would have been right if it were just a century or so earlier.


They are called "marshmallows" because part of the early recipe called for sap from the root of the marshmallow plant.
According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a marshmallow is:

1: a pink-flowered European perennial herb (Althaea officinalis) of the mallow family that is naturalized in the eastern U.S. and has a mucilaginous root sometimes used in confectionery and in medicine; 2: a confection made from the root of the marshmallow or from corn syrup, sugar, albumen, and gelatin beaten to a light spongy consistency
That word "mucilaginous" means "jelly-like." [My new favorite word.] Later, the root was replaced by gelatin, and that is how modern marshmallows are made.


"Marshmallow candy dates back to ancient Egypt where it was a honey-based candy flavored and thickened with the sap of the root of the Marsh-Mallow plant (althea officinalis). Marsh-Mallow grows in salt marshes [HA!] and on banks near large bodies of water. [It must grow on the banks of the River Wahoo.] It is common in the eastern United States. Until the mid 1800's, marshmallow candy was made using the sap of the Marsh-Mallow plant. Gelatin replaces the sap in the modern recipes."

"Nineteenth century doctors extracted juice from the marsh mallow plant's roots and cooked it with egg whites and sugar, then whipped the mixture into a foamy meringue that later hardened, creating a medicinal candy used to soothe children's sore throats. Eventually, advanced manufacturing processes and improved texturing agents eliminated the need for the gooey root juice altogether. Unfortunately, that eliminated the confection's healing properties as a cough suppressant, immune system booster and wound healer."

So there is more than I ever wanted to know about marshMELLOWS. I want a marsh mallow plant and I want to try the real deal. Until then I must ponder the connective tissue assortment that I have ingested over the years.

rice krispie treats, smores, peeps, yes I like peeps, that weird chocolate orange mallow candy, mallomars, marshmallow fluff, mmm suck that right up, and just basic, pop em in your mouth, single mallowy marshmallows.

I don't think I want to stop, even though I'm flashing back to watching my dog slurp, shluurp, shhlluuurpp, his rawhide into soft, white, stringy, slimy, mucilaginous nastiness. The silver lining to all this, is that I might as well start eating jello again.