Mango Tree Chronicles: Amputation

After amputation.
We have a dog, three cats and a tiny human, but one of the most babied creatures in the house is Mango Tree. A few years ago, my dad ate a mango, put the seed into the ground and up sprung a little tree. He gave it to us when he moved to Europe and we drove the tree to Texas, where it thrived for awhile, and then moved Mango Tree with us to DC, where he faced a near death fungal scare but survived.

Since the 2011 fungal scare, Mango Tree sprouted a whole new limb and has grown at least six inches. But last week, something scary happened. One of his limbs started showing signs of decay, and all the leaves on that limb started drying up. It didn’t make sense, since the main limb is doing fine, and below it a new branch is growing.

Today Matty rushed Mango Tree to a nursery where the gardeners gave us the bad news: Mango Tree would have to lose a limb if we want him to have a chance at survival.

The amputation just happened. Matty is mourning. Any advice you have or stories you can share that might help will be appreciated.

A Round of Cheers and Jeers

I’ve been sitting around my living room a lot more lately, since I am too slow to really move around and apparently I could go into labor at any moment. That has allowed plenty of time to consume more pop culture and cast judgement upon it.


This Jacoby Jones endzone dance from the Ravens-Eagles game today. It looks like he’s doing some sort of mongolian barbecuing or something … not sure, but it makes me happy:


Scott Disick. This guy is the only reason I’ve managed to sit through about four or five episodes of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. He’s vapid and narcissistic like the rest of them, but he owns it and seems to be a pretty decent father, actually.

Owing to more sensitive gums, I am now flossing numerous times a day. So a big shout out to my favorite floss, Oral B’s Glide Pro-Health. So smooth. You know what else is smooth? Tito’s vodka, which I miss so much.



American peanut butter giant Jif has decided to make “Jif Hazelnut” to compete with the European hazelnut spread standard-bearer, Nutella. Say it with me now: OUTRAGE! But let’s see what the market decides, cause I don’t see how Nutella addicts will accept any imitators.

And how about one more first-world problem jeer for not-being-able-to-sleep-on-one’s-stomach? This whole sleeping on your side situation is getting old. I know I am supposed to cherish this special time and all, and I am quite appreciative of the miracle of life and all the perspective it brings, but free range sleeping was so nice back when it was an option.

Typeface Consistency #FAIL

This Boise Airport outrage deserves a post of its own. Note the first “GATE,” written in some sort of condensed bold typeface. Then look at the GATE behind it. Helvetica? MAKE IT MATCH PEOPLE.

C'mon, man.

People of Whole Foods

There I was, minding my own business, getting five servings of vegetables juiced into one not-so-tasty beverage when this — THIS — walked into my line of sight.

I had to snap fast. Had I taken my time I would have also captured the skimpy cami up top that revealed the lengths of both bra straps.

The twitter comments ranged from “#WeDifferent” to “That’s Leslie” to “What’s the problem? I have a pair of those.” My favorite was from @IsadoraVail, who suggested we start a “People of Whole Foods” blog, akin to the People of Walmart cybercreation.

Phone Book FAIL

Are you kidding me? Don’t tell me to calm down about this. These phone books/epic waste of trees have been obsolete for at least the last half decade and yet I still get NEW ONES dropped off of my porch every few months or so. This is a classic OUTRAGE, people.

A Message from My Brother

This was too long to tweet for him, on his @rhuinchina account. A random message I received from Roger this morning:

You know what I hate about China?  Everytime you ask someone something, regardless of what you ask – the conversation goes something like this…

Me: “Do you know where to get laundry detergent?”
Them: “Over there or walk straight”

Me: “Do you know how much it would cost?”
Them: “Not much or pretty expensive”

Me: “Do you know approximately how far it is?”
Them: “Not far or very far”

Me: “Do you know what the temperature is?”
Them: “Not cold or very hot”

(I will put this in my “OUTRAGE” category for Roger.)

Some Recent Outrages

You know how much I love a good outrage. Being outraged is probably one of my favorite things besides profanity and politics. For some reason I am outraged by many things at once right now, which is kind of inconvenient because I can’t concentrate fully on one particular outrage this way. Anyway, a short list:

1.) Another Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice “crossover event”

Both programs are pretty awful, I know. IMHO, Grey’s peaked at the end of the second season with the whole Denny-LVAD wire drama. It’s been downhill ever since, and I watch for pure pop melodrama pleasure. Stiles banned it from our DVR so I usually have to watch it online.

But the Grey’s spinoff,  Private Practice,  is even worse. Last season, the creator and EP of both shows married the two for a crossover episode where you had to watch PP in order to follow the storyline of Grey’s. It’s an obvious ploy to help the ratings of the lesser program. But also a waste of my time, because if we were interested in the characters and storylines of the other show, WE WOULD WATCH THE OTHER SHOW.

Now, next week, the producers are doing it to us again. Another crossover event. That’s an outrage.

2.) Luke Wilson shilling for AT&T

Here’s the cerebral star of many of my favorite films, including-but-not-limited-to The Royal Tenenbaums. He doesn’t appear to be that interested  in  fame or money, but ended up with both.  Now he appears to be blatantly selling one for the other. AND FOR AT&T, the phone/internet provider that’s locked in a battle to keep the U.S. broadband network from getting upgraded to much faster speeds. This is perhaps more of a shame than an outrage.

3.) Subscription cards in magazines

This one’s just unacceptable. I can’t believe I haven’t written every single blog post about this particular outrage. I can’t open a new magazine without eighteen subscription cards falling out, and then a week later re-open the magazine to find another subscription  card in there. Seriously, what percentage of new subscribers to magazines mail in a little card,  in some instances where postage is required? And in many instances, where another piece of mail must be sent (like a check) in order to activate the subscription?  Since this happens to all of us, I’m sure subscription card litter winds up everywhere. OUTRAGE.


The more I travel, the less I expect a smooth trip or a even a mildly pleasant one. It’s almost inevitable that your flight will be delayed (if not canceled), that you get to your destination but your bags will not, or you will be flying back from Amsterdam when a dude in the rear of the plane decides to light his balls on fire in a failed Al Qaeda plot (we think).

So here we are, in Dallas (when we were supposed to be connecting in DC), headed to London (though the destination is Amsterdam), hanging out in the “DFW Comfort Lounge” (I suppose they’re trying to be ironic). Our first attempt at leaving Austin failed. We were re-routed since our aircraft was stuck somewhere in the tundra. Drove home. Drove back to airport to take off on re-routed itinerary. Made it to Dallas. Found out flight to London was delayed a few hours. Consumed some subpar tacos. Considered the “three tequila flight”. Opted for a post-meal fro yo instead. Found out our flight was delayed again. Now sitting in this so-called “lounge”, watching a retrospective on the “We Are the World” concert from a few decades ago.

Chuck Klosterman said something last year at a book signing about how airports are purgatory — an in-between place where everyone’s waiting to go somewhere but at the mercy of higher powers. Couldn’t have said it better.

UPDATE 9:17pm: Just learned both airports in Europe we must stop at (Heathrow and Schipol) are going to be quagmires… heightened security after the pants-on-fire-security-threat. Time to take that tequila flight.