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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Nematodes, Chinese Beer, and Belly Dance Costumes

I am getting a very late start today.  Tuesday is a busy day.  I volunteer at the local humane society on Tuesdays, so I was there most of the morning and into the early afternoon.  Then later James and I had a date to go shopping for beneficial nematodes.  I never heard of them either until recently.  The organic gardener guy on a local radio station has been singing the praises of beneficial nematodes for weeks.  I looked them up, and it turns out they are microscopic parasitic wormy-looking things that live in the soil and gobble up the larvae of harmful insects like grubworms, chinch bugs (whatever they are), fire ants (I know what those are), even fleas and ticks.  And nematodes are perfectly harmless to everything else, like pets, earthworms, and plants.  How did I not hear of them before? 

So I found a plant nursery that carries these nematodes, and we went there and bought some today.  They come in small sponges that you soak in water, then spray the water full of nematodes onto your lawn.  We purchased 2 sponges, each containing 1 million of the little beasts.  (“Did you count them?” is a joke I'm sure the nursery workers are sick of hearing.)  It’s better to apply them in the evening when it’s cooler; otherwise they dehydrate and die right there on the grass blades before they have a chance to go underground.  So we came home bearing our beneficial nematodes.  They are alive somehow in their spongy prisons and must be kept in the fridge until ready to use.  Which we plan to do tomorrow evening.   

So my day was pretty well eaten up.  Which reminds me that on the way home we stopped at a little Chinese place and had dinner.  With dinner we each quaffed a Chinese beer.  It was actually pretty good.  So here I am late in the day (for me, being a morning person), with a drink under my belt, and I’m going to try to write my blog.  Not auspicious.  One drink normally would not impair the average person, but I’m an extremely cheap drunk.  It kinda ticks me off.  After a couple of drinks I start to fade.  I barely get a buzz on, then I’m ready to nod off.  It peeves me no end.  Why bother?  In spite of that, I do like my glass of wine in the evening. 

I have gotten off my topic: belly dancing.  We are not having our usual classes tomorrow, because a belly dance costume company out of Houston is coming down and taking over the studio for two days.  The barre and floor will be covered with belly dance costumes and accessories.  I know this because I went to their showing last summer.   

I went out of curiosity, just to look and maybe try on something.  But when I put on this fuchsia-and-silver number, encrusted with jewels and covered with detailed beading, and sparkly tassels everywhere, with matching top and gauntlets and a head band thing, I couldn’t say no.  I felt like Cleopatra, except blonde and, OK, a little older.  I felt incredibly exotic, beautiful, and sexy, in this absolutely over-the-top costume.  I also felt a little exposed.  I don’t normally wear outfits that expose my midriff and cleavage.  "It's kinda skimpy," I said, and a classmate replied, “You don’t belly dance in a turtleneck!”  Of course, she was right.  (Let me hasten to add that the typical belly dance costume originated in Hollywood, not the Mediterranean.)  An hour later, I left with a costume that cost close to $500.  I had taken all of two or three classes at the time. 

Now I know:  It’s all about the costume.    

I’ll see if I can attach a photo of my costume, although a photo is a pitiful substitute for seeing it in real life, in all its sparkling, baubly, beaded glory.  I guess it’s OK to mention the name of the company, so you can look at its website if you’re curious.  It is Dahlal Internationale.  Google it, my friend, and feast your eyes. 

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