Monday, May 17, 2004

Back to the Grind

It was nice to clear my head of news and politics this weekend, and Eclair was more than helpful in redirecting my attention whenever it strayed back to the topic.
Under the zenlike admonition to chop wood and carry water to clear one's head of worldly concerns, we decided to focus on creating an inviting oasis in her backyard, in preparation for her birthday party in two weeks.
The wooden fence surrounding her in-ground swimming pool faces the street on one side and the alley on another.
The gaps in the fence have been an ongoing concern for us, because we may be, umm, over a certain age, but we're still very damn frisky and don't want her snoopy neighborhood peepers having heart attacks while spying on us.
We decided to affix rolls of tightly woven bamboo fencing to the inside of the wooden fence.
It was hard work, but the results were fabulous. The yard looked like a cozy tropical paradise once we finished, sort of like a Survivor Tribal Council set, I told her.
Once finished, we went out to the street to see how well we'd covered the gaps to ensure total privacy.
Alas, in too many spots, the gaps in the wooden fence lined up perfectly with the gaps in the bamboo fencing, so we were back to square one. Such dejection.
Luckily, Eclair has hooked up with me, one of the biggest jerryriggers in home improvement history. I had an idea.
We spent Sunday taking down the bamboo fencing and sticking strip after strip of duck tape over the gaps in the wooden fence.
I thought the proper term was 'duct tape,' but the six jumbo rolls we bought said 'duck' on the label, just for the record.
She was horrified with my slapdash solution at first, but like everyone eventually discovers, duck tape is the miracle cure for most household dilemmas. She's been converted.
In addition us installing 40 miles of duck tape-fortified new tropical-look privacy fencing, I gave her some early birthday presents for her yard.
She got 10 new wooden birdhouses, in assorted architectural styles, painted in many colors.
I have no patience for bad grammar, stupidity or liars, but I have Job-like patience for detailed painting projects like little wooden bird houses. These were doozies, if I do say so myself.
Some were done in Arts & Crafts Revival style. Some were futuristic. One was painted to look like an old, stone church.
One caters to punk rock birds. Another looks like a typical motel chain seen from any Interstate highway. One has a white, glass glitter roof fashioned to look like snow. Another was painted in rainbow colors to resemble a birdie gay bar. One is festooned with stenciled flowers in dozens of colors. Another looks like a Palm Beach disco.
When she first saw the assortment, Eclair was a little overwhelmed, but by now she's used to my credo, "anything worth doing is worth overdoing."
We felt very smug and satisfied once we finished the work we'd done in her yard.
Even the birds in the hood chirped in admiration.

By Sunday, I was starting to get curious about world news.
I perused the Sunday paper and found my beloved Spurs had lost the playoff series to the evil Laker devil spawn. My gut felt like I'd been eating AAA batteries, and I was glad we didn't watch game the night before.
Delving further into the newspaper, I skimmed the headlines, skipped the stories and worked the crossword puzzles instead.
Many of my Blogger buddies wrote thoughtful, powerful anti-Bush and political Blogs over the weekend while I was dormant and recharging my soul's batteries. We are lucky to have so many intelligent, politically astute people out there who can write with impact. Nice job, friends.

This morning, I caught up with all the news.
It was as bad as ever.
More bloodshed. More buck passing. More reasons to loathe Bush and his criminal cohorts.

God, it's good to be back.

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