Rhododendron leaves!

Many years ago, during one of our frequent Coffee Times, my dear friend Bob opened my eyes to the wonders of the rhododendron leaf. I was aware of this bit of flora but had never really stopped to appreciate it.  In the summer it is a thick, waxy leafed plant with the large (generally) pink blossoms.

“Summa, summa, summatime.” Fresh Prince

As the seasons change and the temperature falls, the leaves begin to curl up.

By the time the highs are all lows, the leaves have curled into tiny cigars.  They also fall, or pull in closer to the stem/branches.

“It’s sure been a cold, cold winter.” The Stones

And obviously that reminds me of cigar cookies!!!  Which makes me want to make a grocery store run immediately.

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know. “Groucho Marx

But why do they do that? you’re asking.  I thought you’d never ask!  It’s called thermotropic leaf movement.  Throughout the winter, rhododendron leaves will freeze nearly every night.  They curl to reduce the rate at which the frozen leaves thaw.  Slow thaw rates reduce the risk of tissue damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle.

Most rhododendrons are found within forrested areas. In warmer seasons, the trees block out quite a bit of radiation.  When those trees lose their leaves, more of the sun’s radiation gets through to the rhododendron and the leaves pull in, or fall, to sort of hide the leaf surface from the sun.  How they do all this is still up for debate (i.e. discovering).

Pretty neat, huh?

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Mustaches

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One could argue that my love of the mustache was prompted by the recent fad.  Or one could argue that my love of the ‘stache began with a fellow I dated with a handlebar mustache.  But I would like to suggest my love of the mustache began at a much earlier age- say birth.

Most of the men in my formative years all sported a sophisticated spread of facial hair.  For example:

My dad rocks a pretty impressive “cop stache” but in his hay day, it was a full on fu.

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My grandfather rocks a pencil.  When he came out of his anesthesia induced coma after open heart surgery, his first words were colorful and all expressed his anger towards the nurses for shaving his mustache to insert the breathing tube. Nevermind that tube was what kept him alive!

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My husband wore a fairly impressive handlebar and I grew a well groomed barbershop for our wedding.IMG_1121 copy

Yes indeed. I do love a mustache.

The Kids in the Hall

This probably goes without saying but I like love all of the Kids in all of the Halls!  My love affair with these Canadians began in middle school, when CBS aired their show much later than I preferred to be awake.  By the time I finished high school and began college, Comedy Central was airing repeats from 2p-3p which was perfect.  In college, I actually avoided classes that fell during that time slot.  One must have priorities.

Why do I love this show so much?  I think it’s the absolute ridiculousness of every single sketch.  KITH rarely makes me laugh out loud, like I do when listening to Bill Cosby, but I always have a smirk on my face.  The smirk is how you know it’s really smart.

You may not find this surprising but I kept a running list of quotes from the show that I liked most.  You never knew when you would need a good AIM Away Message or just a pick me up after a sub-par exam.  Here are some of the gems; most of them don’t sparkle here like they do when heard in the context of the sketches.

“Drum LOST!” “Drum FOUND!”

“People think I got the power because I got the monkeys. Nope.  I got the power because I’ll let the monkeys loose.”

“I’m tired. I’m salty. I require sleep.”

“Slipped my miiiiind.”

“It is so cold out there my head nearly fell off!”

“Fake Mom!  Vinyl Mom! Sweet and Low MOM!”

“If my head were veal, which I know it is not… how much would it be worth?”

Mark McKinney is my favorite member of the group and I was once gifted (by the ever-awesome Gabe) an autograph which reads, “Hi Jackie. I’m Mark McKinney. (signed) Mark McKinney”

I once made my friend Ian his own bottle spoon head party inspired by the one seen here:

Paaaaaaaaaaaaartay!

And here is another brilliant sketch about the only kind of landlord one should ever have:

 

ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky

I like the voice synthesizing, the clang-y percussion, the keys, the choir that closes out the song- the whole thing!  But I think most of all, I like it because of this line:

“Hey there with the pretty face, welcome to the human race!”

Perhaps the very best thing to say to your newly hatched child.

Or maybe I love it because a band with that much mustache can be nothing short of great.

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Or maybe because in singing the chorus I am reminded of my love of clouds. Here is sample of my photo hoarding on the subject….

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Photos by me.

Stretching

I like to stretch.  It’s the first thing I do when I wake up, usually accompanied by a faint squeal.

And then again, nearly every 2 hours, I stand up at my desk and do a stretch similar to the one depicted below.

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It’s the best.  Here are some other ideas of stretches appropriate for the work place.