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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Every time I walk out my front door, I'm overwhelmed with how fast things grow and how little I can do to keep up with them. (I believe I might have mentioned this once or twice.) All of the work I did earlier this year has been for nothing. Every time I try to do a little more work, it only reinforces how futile it is to try to keep things under control.

All I wanted to do today was cut down some of the higher grasses that are growing between the paving stones on the path that leads from the garage to the house. It's a pretty modest goal, and it wasn't even for my own benefit. I don't want anyone who happens by to be forced to hack their way through the jungle to get to my door.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I was fighting something much bigger than myself. Not only that, it was fighting back. I pulled up a clump of weeds and a huge wad of wet dirt came up with it. I found I couldn't try to pull up anything by its roots, because it would leave deep holes in the ground and force me to deal with all that mud.

This was the first day without rain, and the first time I've tried to do anything in the yard for several days. I didn't last long, but it was as much out of frustration as fatigue. I used the clippers to cut down some of the higher grass, but you can hardly tell. And there's still the other ninety-nine percent of the yard to deal with, each square foot with its own character and its unique set of problems.

What would it take for me to get the place the way I want it? It would take unlimited time, for starters. But even given all the time in the world, it would take more energy than I have. I can't keep going for long, even when I do have some time. It would also take tools I don't have, and a little more knowledge of plants and soil and equipment than I possess.

It must be time to call in the professionals, but that takes something else I'm short on. Money, that would be. I'll have to find a way, though, because I can't live with the sense that nature is my enemy. We have to live in harmony together, or I might as well be back in the city with the noise and traffic and snoopy neighbors. The one thing I'm sure of is that I don't want that life again.

14 Apr 03

Cloudy in the west.

In fact, I'm so happy out here in the country that I'm willing to put up with muddy driveways and the chokehold the weeds have on me. I sneezed for an hour after twenty minutes of working outside today, but I'll take it. I'm miles from the action, but I like it that way. Give me the peace and solitude and the feeling that I have no one to answer to but myself (and the birds and the deer and the turkeys) over the city life any day. As much as I complain about the details, the overall picture is to my liking.

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Tonight's pitcher for the Giants, Jason Schmidt, is considered the best starter they have. He began the season in great form, but a week ago he had to leave the team because his mother died. Tonight was his first game back, and he was brilliant. I don't know if it was the emotion, or the week's rest, or the cold air taking the sting out of the Cubs' bats, but Schmidt shut them out on three hits and the Giants broke their three-game losing streak with a 5-0 win.

The night air didn't seem to affect Barry Bonds, though. He broke out of his hitting slump with two massive home runs, one to the deepest part of center field and the other into the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Water World
"The scene was like something out of Angela's Ashes, the wettest movie I've ever seen."

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