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<< Previous: Tonight's Debauchery | Next: Tapas: Zely and Ritz >>

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Sunday, 2005 March 20 - 9:40 pm
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of... yard work.

Today's weather in North Carolina was absolutely gorgeous. So I knew I'd have to undertake what I've been putting off for a while: the annual quest to avoid having the worst-looking lawn in the neighborhood. (Although, even if I had the worst lawn, I still wouldn't be the Most Irritating Resident in the neighborhood. That honor might fall to the people who park their boat, or one of their FOUR cars, in the middle of the cul-de-sac.)

I started by trimming down the pampas grass bushes. For those of you unfamiliar with pampas grass, the leaves are like razor wire coated with pine tar. From trying to cram the cut leaves into the yard-waste bags, I think I have a thousand little cuts on my forearms. Isn't that supposed to lead to death? Or is it just that one wishes for death after accidentally splashing vinegar on the thousand little cuts? OW OW OW.

I had to get some more yard-waste bags, so I walked down to the neighborhood Ace hardware store. On the way, I passed a guy who was doing an odd little walk on his yard. It turned out he had those lawn aerator sandals that you can get at Brookstone. I asked him what he thought of them, because I also recently bought those sandals, and I'll be using them soon. The fact that I talked to him at all was unusual; I generally don't interact with my neighbors that much. I'm sure they think I'm the type of guy who will end up being a serial killer, and they'll go on the news and say, "He was pretty quiet, and usually kept to himself. Sometimes he made a lot of noise at night."

But if there's one thing that guys can discuss with other guys, it's lawn care. Back when I worked at Nortel, and when everyone I knew was becoming a homeowner, there were two topics that dominated our daily conversations: What the best route to work was, and what kind of grass we were planting in our yards. Those topics, along with sports and gadgetry, are on the Official Safe Topics list for talking to men.

Next I sharpened the lawn mower blade with my Dremel, which I think was the highlight of the whole day. Ooh, sparks!

I mowed the lawn, dug up a few weeds, trimmed the gardenia bushes, and pruned my one surviving rose bush. I also bagged up a bunch of junk that had been sitting on my back deck, I ran the dishwasher, and I tidied up the laundry room. Such a productive day! I'm so pleased with myself! Hence the exclamation points!

I rewarded myself by grilling a burger on my little portable gas grill. Back in Michigan, we would have called this "barbecuing", but here in the South, the word "barbecue" is a noun instead of a verb, and it has an entirely different meaning. Actually, my little grill is so pathetic that even the word "grilling" is a stretch. But it got the job done. I also made some fries with malt vinegar... that's where the OW OW OW came in.

Tonight I will be relaxing and watching "Boston Legal", and then maybe I'll take a bubble bath. While I'm at it, maybe I'll have a glass of Chardonnay and light some candles too. But I won't be talking about that with The Guys at work... bubble baths and candles are definitely NOT on the Official Safe Topics list.
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Posted by Ken in: life


Comment #1 from Tim (Guest)
2005 Mar 20 - 9:54 pm : #
I will make a deal with you. I will nod my head and feign interest in one bubble bath/candle conversation in exchange for you doing the same when I start talking about whatever sci-fi show I am stuck on this week.
Comment #2 from hanako (Guest)
2005 Mar 21 - 12:44 pm : #

Sincere thanks again for the great dinner and company friday night. I still can't believe I ate a wee quail!

I spent yesterday outside as well - went canoeing on Lake Wheeler. Gorgeous! When I got home Kris was shooting a beer can at point blank range with a bee bee gun, gangsta style. He was pumped that State beat UConn (go pack!) Any time's a good time to break out the bee bee gun, I guess. Then he sat down and started sharpening his lawnmower blade with a huge file, Slingblade style. The neighbors are probably wondering if we should be having children.

Sorry about your cuts and the vinegar thing. Try yogurt and oatmeal based meals for a while.

Painful hugs,

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