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April 23, 2009

Can you smell that smell?

I love the smell of a list in the morning!

I watch Jeopardy. I don't Tivo it, but I try to be home by 7 p.m. so I can see it, I usually make it a few nights a week. I play along with the TV, saying the answers out loud, like I am competing. And when I know the answer and none of the contestants do, I say the answer LOUDER as if that will help. I also get irrationally attached to people on Jeopardy, for example I'll be rooting for one person to win and then I'll feel real, actual disappointment if they bet a lot on a daily double and lose the game, or if they lose in Final Jeopardy. I feel bad for them. Probably because I am loose in the brainial area.

Carry on my wayward son
The gardeners and I are in a fight. I'm not sure they know it yet, but we are, and they will know it for sure on Saturday. Last weekend they left me a nasty note on the timer mechanism for the sprinklers along the lines of "If you turn off the automatic timer again we'll report you to the landlord nah nah nah." So I called my landlord and told him I don't want mean notes from the gardeners and we are in a DROUGHT and the city has a list of ordinances (like you cannot serve people water in a restaurant unless they ask, I mean really) and if you break the water law you could be fined and if you exceed tier 1 usage your bill will cost more and WHO WILL PAY IT? The mean gardeners have the timer set to run six days a week for 45 minutes. PEOPLE. That is EXCESSIVE. So I turn off the timer and run the sprinklers manually because I don't want an $800 water bill. WILL THE MEAN GARDENERS PAY IT?

So I typed up a letter to the gardeners along those lines and attached the entire city ordinance with appropriate areas highlighted and tagged with post-it flags. Basically it says they either change the timer or they can pay my water bill. I am sure their love will grow exponentially for me.

And I can't believe I am going to say this, but I miss Francisco. I miss his strangely pruned shrubbery and bizarrely hacked trees. We used to have a beer, hang out, sometimes he wouldn't come for weeks and that was fine. The new gardeners lecture me and scold me and tell me not to walk on my own grass. They're so strict. Such grassophiles. And now we're in a fight.

The Ghetto Garden
Which brings me to this year's gardening efforts, which I plan to call The 2009 Ghetto Garden. It's my attempt to combine my countryass love of gardening with my need to annoy the gardeners. Thanks to the many readers who sent me this article about Lasagna Gardening, [no idea why the link only works half the time -- you may have to go to that site and search for it] I got the idea to use my old cardboard boxes from the storage shed out back to make walkways between my gardening piles and that will mean NO GRASS and the gardeners will probably have their little heads pop off as soon as they see it. I don't have the winter ahead (obviously) to make a real lasagna garden like in the article, but I'm going to use some of the techniques there since I can't till the soil (landlord's request -- and I have to stay on someone's good side.) On Saturday I plan to be up at the buttcrack of dawn running all my gardening errands. My budget for this masterpiece is $100, and I need soil and mulch and seedlings and other stuff. The gardeners come on Saturday so I'll be out shopping for the Ghetto Garden supplies when they find my awesome Water Wars note attached to the sprinklers, and then just as they are recovering from that they'll arrive next week to find a cardboard jungle.

This makes me so happy and I can't express why. Probably because I am evil, and should be destroyed.

No rest for the wicked
Of course I also have to work this weekend, which is going to cut into my gardening time. I don't know why I can't just drink wine and garden and read books for a living.

Reading is my cardio
I'm on this big Michael Crichton kick right now. It started right about two weeks ago in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep and needed to read something that would take my mind off the thoughts that were keeping me awake. You know how you can worry about something and think about it so much that the thoughts start thinking you? That's where I was. So I picked up an old Michael Crichton favorite, Timeline. Of his books that I've read it's probably my favorite. And then I watched the movie on Netflix (I love the movies you can watch right on your laptop! Best invention EVER!) (Not that I loved the movie, by the way.) And then I re-read State of Fear and then Terminal Man (his stuff from the 1970s is great, I love the descriptions of L.A., the technology talk, the way no one had a cellphone.) Then I re-read Prey, and moved on to Jurassic Park which I finished yesterday and of course ordered the movie off Netflix to watch tonight, and now I'm on to The Lost World. Yesterday I realized all I have left at home is Congo, so I ordered all the books I don't have off Amazon.com because books count as essentials for me, and because I'm obsessed. Obsessed! I do this with books, I get into an author and need to read EVERYTHING that person has ever written, including postcards and napkin notes.

I like Crichton because he writes this insane dialogue, where an expert character will explain to a lesser, dumber character all the exposition -- not just little details, but HUGE tumbling blocks of exposition. It's his way of combining character development and technical exposition at the same time, and I think very few writers really pull that off and keep a story moving. I thought State of Fear was a little too heavy in the oratory but I never get bored with his books, I always want to know how it all ends.

The weather changed back, so the 100-degree spell ended and now it's nice and chilly and foggy out, like winter. You know, 65 degrees. Almost cold enough for a wool scarf.

Even though my office move is really boring and not dramatically far away, it's still weird. Moving is not my favorite thing to do. I forget sometimes how much I am a creature of habit, liking things to be steady and constant and yet nothing ever is. Everything changes. Things end, new things begin, nothing really ever stays the same. Sometimes that feels exhilarating because when life is crappy you can count on it to eventually change, which is hopeful. But sometimes it's disconcerting too, because you have to move along with the flow and nothing can be relied upon to stay the same forever.

Posted by laurie at April 23, 2009 7:06 AM