20 May 2009

symptoms of being

there was a ring lardner book called symptoms of being 35 written in the 1920s that always sounded to me like symptoms of being 55. being 35 in the 1920s i reasoned is like being 55 now.

i overestimated.

being in one's mid forties is like being in one's mid thirties at the beginning of the last century.

here are some symptoms i've encountered recently:

today i had to fill out an insurance form and it required writing information from my check (which i also had to attach). i studied the microscopic print on the bank's address for many minutes--moving the check to various angles, looking for the right combination of light and focus which would enable me to determine if the zip code contained two sixes, two eights, or a six and an eight. i ended up looking up the bank online to get larger print.

we had a party at the house last friday, and the part of it that most satisfied me was that everyone was gone by 10:30 and i was asleep by 11:00.

my neck hurt today, and the reason wasn't a great strain or car accident. i had looked up at the ceiling.

i look forward to tomorrow evening, because i have nothing to do.

17 May 2009

i ran out of impatiens

playing catch-up today and looking forward to slowing down a bit, checking out some blogs, drawing bad cartoons, putting down patio blocks.

obama was in the neighborhood today, so we went to lowe's. no picketing at all there, though some of their employees were clogging up the aisles. i sensed a protest.

uglywife spent the day in the dirt, and the last time i saw her, she stood over a dozen holes and told me she had run out of impatiens. flower humor always gets to me.

my indoor project of the last few months continues to prove my theory of work planning. i started the day estimating four more hours of work. after four hours, i now estimate four more hours of work. this has gone on for a few weeks. i think it began as a twenty hour chore.

and that is all. supper making calls.

10 May 2009

slaughter of the innocents

for the last couple weeks i have been treeing--pulling out the hundreds of baby trees growing where they shouldn't. i'm not allowing the parent trees to keep any of their offspring. i feel pretty bad about it, but it's a tradition.

it's also about the only outdoor task i am allowed to do. i can tell the difference between a baby tree and any other plant and the difference between a bird and a rock, but that's about the extent of my outdoor identification abilities.

everything looks so similar when young. so many shared genes.

so once again, i kill to restore order. i celebrate the birth of spring by turning the babies into early mulch. ownership always leads to death. the chaos i love in the woods bothers me in my own yard. i suppose that's why most of us prefer to have a house-trained cat or dog living with us rather than a mongoose or wild turkey.

really, most of the trees wouldn't have been trees if winter hadn't come early and hidden the seeds from the squirrels. but here's what i was thinking when pulling a record crop of trees: so many started so a few can live--the few that get by my view until it seems too mean (or requires too much work) to pull them up--like the millions of eggs laid in my pond that mostly become food for something else.

and i look around and see so many humans like baby trees and wonder what big hand is coming to pluck us and which of us will be lucky enough to be out of sight.

04 May 2009

15 minutes of knowledge

passive learning is the best sleep aid ever invented. students have known this for years.

most every night, we go to bed and dial up a documentary (cool netflix box). i put down what i'm reading and begin watching. i am interested. i am learning. then, 15 minutes later i'm asleep.

here's what i've learned:

king corn: two guys find corn in their hair, move to iowa, and plant one acre of corn. it may or may not have grown.

three part history of egypt: the egyptians are taken over. they plot to gain power. next episode they seem to have power again and begin building things. final episode, egypt remains egypt. (i may not have made the whole 15 minutes there).

lewis and clarke (tried five consequtive nights): lewis and clark hang out with the woman from the dollar coin, though they pronounce her name differently. they run into lots of europeans as they travel where no white man has gone before. at some point they reach the coast and try to hail a ship. i think they still might be there.

secret societies: the statue of liberty may or may not be a symbol of the illuminati and the masons. coincidentally, a beacon of light symbolizes the same thing to the secret societies as it does to everyone else. then bush joins the skull and bones. not sure if he becomes president.

history of the universe (tried three times): the universe is old.

and on and on. i've learned very little about a multitude of topics. overall, though, i've learned the power of learning. it packs the sleeping punch of a bottle of bourbon without the side effects.