…you know what that means. Time for another of Fakename’s Weekend Wrapups. These wrapups are not really a summary, but a tidying up of the remaining random thoughts which, on their own, don’t rise to the level of a theme. It’s like after you’ve vacuumed and dusted and done the laundry, you look around and see that the pillows on the couch could use rearranging. Probably unnecessary, but it just feels right to do it.
So two really, really significant things happened to me this week. I briefly mentioned last week that the next-door neighbor’s son made me an offer on my dead Camaro that was hard to refuse. Today we sealed the deal. Here it is: I give him the car, he takes care of my yard for the rest of the season–which means, at minimum, through September, and probably into October. This is about an $800 value, much better than his other offer which was to pay me $300 in cash, which as he said, is probably too much. And he’s right. The engine is blown, the anti-lock brake system doesn’t work, and it has many other minor problems you might expect from a 15 year old car.
Prior yard-guy Randy, with whom I discussed this last weekend, suggested that I have the guy Tom sign a promissory note to ensure he holds up his part of the bargain, or at least withhold the title to the car until the end of the season. Well, yeah, I guess that would be the business-like way to handle it, but this is my neighbor’s son, already. If he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, his mother would kill him. Plus I liked him. Especially when he said, “Listen, it’s nice to meet you, and by the way I’d like to apologize for my mother being so nosy. [You can say that again!] But really she and Ray (my other neighbor) mean well. They know you live alone, and they call themselves looking out for you, but I know it’s probably annoying.” How can you not like a guy like that?
So Tom started his end of the bargain today, and in a couple of hours, he did more work than Randy would do in three weeks. Randy wanted everything to be easy, and would not go beyond the very basics (that would be why I have Confederate jasmine taking over the walls of my house). Tearing down vines does not fall into the category of “mowing”. I just don’t have an easy kind of yard. This is not a golf course. It’s a pine cone/pine needle/oak limb/oak leaf/steroid-enhanced vine factory.
The second thing that happened was that an old friend from college found me on Facebook. I don’t care how much disdain people may hold for Facebook, I gain more respect for it every day. When it comes to finding people, it beats Google all to hell. I haven’t talked to this guy in at least 30 years, and he’s one of those people I’ve thought of often and wondered whatever happened to him. (Of course, there are a lot of people you hope never do find you.) As I and his other friends always suspected, he really really did “make something of himself”. He’s a professor of English at a major university. I’m so proud of him and simply delighted to have reconnected!
Finally, one of the things I do on Sunday is catch up on reading the NY Times online–if I’m in the mood. Today I read a great article called “The Estrogen Dilemma” (to take it or not to take it). Fakesister’s comment on one of my other blogs had to do with reading a book about horse care and training, whose message she loves but she’s having to slog through the writing. I asked myself whether I would rather read bad writing about a subject I’m very interested in, or good writing about a subject I’m not particularly interested it. The answer is: I’ll take good writing any day. The writer of this NY Times article is excellent. Lucky for her students, I’d say, she teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley. Good writers, in my opinion, use words in unexpected ways and surprise you. They don’t adhere to any sort of standard as to what is or isn’t acceptable language. In this case, she’s writing a fairly technical piece about current research, but she also has a personal interest, that is, whether or not she should take estrogen herself. And she says, if she makes the wrong decision, “I am so screwed.” You just can’t help but laugh out loud at that. It’s somewhat lengthy, but if you’re interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/magazine/18estrogen-t.html?pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me
I believe this is it for me and Blogworld for the weekend, but you never can tell.