Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Weekend

My family has a tendency to ask me what I did on holiday weekends, especially religious ones, as if I am supposed to be doing something special. This time, I think I actually did something worthwhile, i.e. I didn't have my fingers glued to my laptop. While I do have slides to finish for my dissertation defense on Thurs, I chose to goof off instead of finishing my work. I went to church.

Ha ha ha. Just kidding. Not in a million years. It's not that I'm not a spiritual person, I just don't need organized religion to remind me to be a kind and decent human being.

I have ALL DAY to kill tomorrow just trying to get from Walla Walla to Portsmouth; I think I will have plenty of time to make last minute improvements to my slides. I call this justifiable procrastination. I emailed myself my slides - three or four different accounts - just in case. You never know when something might go wrong.

I have had 3 defense anxiety dreams - all over equipment not working! The first was my old Audi - it struggled to get up an imaginary hill on the way from the airport to the university. Then it was some other thing that broke - a different car maybe. The latest was Katy chewing up my laptop.

Here's what happened over the weekend when she had to be penned in the kitchen again so we could leave. She is standing on top of Max's kennel, who is inside trying in vain to scratch his way out.

Goofing off on a holiday weekend for me means gardening (two blisters worth of digging), starting a new pastel for my primate series (a "cheek padder" adult male orangutan), pigging out on high-end junk food (Vietnamese fried calamari, creme brulee, and $8 martinis from Whitehouse-Crawford, the swankiest place in town), and then burning off the calories on a couple of marathon dog walks.

The two raised planter beds Sleyed made will look pretty once the plants grow in. I wanted them to rest smack in the middle of the backyard where all of the best grass was growing so he dug up the grass and I layed down our makeshift sod in the brown patches in our yard. That was how I earned my blisters. One poped, so needless to say, washing the dirt out of my hands was unpleasant.

I started the beds with seedlings that I grew indoors along with an Spanish lavendar plant I found at the Home Despot. 7 seedlings cluster near the lavendar - they are also English lavendar. I collected the seeds from a parent plant down the street.

The rest of that bed has about 30 seedlings that were growing in a tiny yogurt container on my window sill. I forget what the seeds are, but they grew well and I have a lot of them. It was fun to transplant seedlings because of the incredibly delicate work needed to untangled the tiny root systems.

I also put down seeds in all of my containers (foxglove, trumpet vine, snapdragon), smooshed some seeds for trees in the ground (Catalpa and Koelreuteria), and put some seeds into the ground that I gathered from my gladiolus.

I can't remember the last time I had so much dirt under my nails.

When I had finished I walked back inside, kicked my sandals off at the door, and grabbed a 40 oz beer from the fridge. It wasn't Old English -that would be too redneck - but it was certifiably crappy beer - the cheapest I could find.

Good drinking for the slugs.

I filled several yogurt lids with the beer and then went back inside to clean up. What did I find? Miss Roughenhausen with a face full of TV remote control. Yep, she chewed the brand new one, but I discovered her naughtiness in time to save the remote. It has visible teeth marks, but it still works. She whined and cried to go out so we headed out. She must have remembered the lids full of beer from last spring, though I had clearly forgotten her fondness for beer because she headed straight for them and before I knew exactly what she was doing, Katy slurped up most of it. That huge tongue can make beer disappear in two licks. She's soooo country.

And now - the wind is blowing all of my seeds to who knows where - 30 miles per hour with gusts to 40 mph the news says. Fantastic - the expensive new manure dirt - will be gone too.

Worrying about the condition of my garden is WAAAAAY better than worrying about my upcoming dissertation defense.

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