Thursday, May 22, 2008

Words from somewhere in the Lawn

About once a year I seem to have to learn a lesson that one would think I should have already learned: once spring hits or even nearly, mow the wretched lawn when you get home. Don't let it sit for a couple weeks because you feel lazy; don't skip the sunny day because it's too hot, and then skip the rainy day because it's too wet (although certainly a rainy day is too wet, so do it first!).

All of this driven home because I have mowed for about 4 and a half hours today, not counting the time spent walking to the hardware store and back for a mower spark plug. And there are still 2 spots out front that were too high/dense to finish cutting today, as well as the parking strip on the side that is not as bad but is only about half done because I worked most of the time out front except for when I ran out of gas and had to go to the back to re-fill: then I'd mow the side on my way back out to the front.

Also, the stupid mower (the machine, not just me) is years old. It goes well enough on normal one-week grass, but it bogs right down on the 3-4 week denser stuff. I think much of the weariness I feel now is from pulling the tortuous start rope every time the thing bogged down in spite of my efforts to mow small bits and keep it running.

I'm off to bed to sleep the sleep of the exhausted if not the just.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't Try this at Public Property

This was a somewhat imaginative & creative act on a library statue. I suppose it was technically recycling, given that the bicycle helment was actually cracked and of no further use as a protective device. There may be some mundane justification in as much as May is bike to work month.

Still, the officious one in me says this is just a step away from valdalism. If adding a bike helmet was good, perhaps one might think changine the paint scheme would be better. No.

(And in fact, as soon as person in charge realized the statue had value-added wardrobe, person at work was asked to remove it.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

bon mots and bagatelles

Gene Wilder's short novel (176 pages) The Woman Who Wouldn't is an amusing and tender tale about a musician who has a break down during a concert and subsequently goes to a sanatorium in Badenweiler, Germany. The story takes place in 1903, includes visits with Anton Chekhov who is there dying of consumption.

Without writing any spoilers, I can only say that the book has a lovely sentimental touch. Some may indeed find it ultimately too sweet, but it pleased me and made me cry. Interestingly enough, it even has a couple of sex scenes, but they're not pornographic nor erotica in nature. I think that's a little difficult to pull off. They are also intrinsic to the story; short as the book is, extra- gratuitous words aren't really there.

If we have to give it stars, I'd say 3 out of 5. It's worth reading. I'm doubtful that I'd read it a second time--not because it was bad, but because I've done that now. And part of the impact of the book is in going through for the first time and experiencing it as it develops. But be fair: I don't read many mysteries a second time either and they're perfectly fine reading the first time.

Finally, if you have the chance, listen to the audio book read by Gene Wilder himself. As both an actor and the author, he catches everything just right with his voice.