Quiz Time

Okay, knowledgable friends. Here’s the situation.

We have a yard that has been torn up for sewer modifications. There are large, large areas of turned-up dirt, with exposed roots, rocks and clumps throughout. It is uneven, and quite red (being Georgia).

We have several 6 foot long, 3 inch deep, 1 foot wide dents in the area that has grass, from the impact of chunks of trees that came crashing into it.

We have a damaged dogwood tree which we’re going to try to nurse through its trauma of being hit by another tree.

We have a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a chainsaw, an electric hedge trimmer and electric lawnmower. And a bicycle pump.

What do we need to do to make our lawn a nice, even, grassy green again?

Today, we cleaned up a bunch of the rocks and roots, and planted a new dogwood, in case the old one doesn’t make it.

One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts. I mean, Roan.

Today, Roan and I:

1. Went to our last Music Class with Miss Wendy (Melconian) until the Fall. Roan got smooches from a boy named Alex and a little red-headed girl named Merideth. Miss Wendy and I commiserated on having poor memory of faces, especially when, as a performer, there are situations where you shouldn’t necessarily know who someone is because you haven’t met, but they still talk to you as if you knew them, because they know you, because they’ve seen you on stage. Miss Wendy commented that she can only remember people under the age of 3.

2. Went to Story Time at Borders Books, with the other Miss Wendy. The other Miss Wendy sang a song where the moral was that girls shouldn’t let boys kiss them when they’re out in a canoe together. I told Roan that Miss Wendy totally blew his chances with all the girls in the room, and the other parents nearby laughed at me.

3. At Roan’s request, had bagels at the Borders. Roan applied his own cream cheese.

4. Tried unsuccessfully to locate a book on Filemaker 5.5. (This was really just me, Roan wasn’t so into it.)

5. Went home and took a nap. (both of us, though first I did some web research on leather-bound Complete Works of Shakespeare and also terracing sloped backyards.)

6. Woke up and had a snack while watching part of an episode of Fraggle Rock.

7. Spent a little time with Stacey while she was on break from work, then played around in the backyard a bit.

8. Went to the pool for 2-3 hours. It’s a bit chilly yet, but we got by.

9. Came home and failed to eat some Focaccia for dinner. Instead had applesauce, milk, crackers and a banana.

Then Roan took a bath and went to bed.

I then:

1. Ordered a used copy of “Introduction to Filemaker 5.5” from Amazon.

2. Researched just What The Hell Happened with LeapFrog, a regretful holding of the Hundredth Monkey Investment Club. Recommendation: Sell, with extreme prejudice.

3. Looked up who wrote One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts (Answer: Shirley Jackson).

Now I’m off to read a book (Investment Fables) for a little while.

Book Log – The Confusion

The Confusion: Volume II of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson

On the cover of the book and the title page, it says by Neal Stephenfon (sortof), which makes me laugh.

This book took me about a year to read. I’d put it aside for months, because I really need to not read it in short 15 minute bursts a week or so apart. I would get lost, and decide to wait until I had a reasonable chance of getting a good stretch of reading in. I got a good chunk in during my recent trip to Food Lion, and now I’m done.

I love these books. They are so rich in detail, action, character, and plot that I feel like I’m hanging onto a rollercoaster by my fingernails.

Today, I decided that Cryptonomicon is my Hobbit and The Baroque Cycle, Volumes I – III are my Lord of the Rings.

Unfortunately, I’d say there’s a monad-of-quicksilver-sized chance of them ever becoming movies, or even an animated cartoon, owing mostly to a dearth of dragons.

Only one volume left… The System of the World. And then I’m done. I’m not looking forward to being done.

My brother is concerned that he’ll get to the end of them and the payoff will be a big disappointment, but I’d say the journey will be worth it despite the outcome.

Though I’d like a big finish, too. Why not?

Book Log – Cartoon History of the Universe II

The Cartoon History of the Universe II by Larry Gonick

I love this series. I’ve now read all three books, so theoretically I should know everything about the history of the universe. I don’t, but at least I was entertained, and picked up a bit or two.

But the main thing on my mind is a convergence of facts. I’ve noticed that once I learn a new word, I suddenly start to see and hear the word everywhere. It’s spooky, but I chalk it up to skewed perception.

But what’s odd is that the past three books I’ve been reading over the last month all have mentioned or involved the caste system of historic India. Before these three books, I really knew nothing of the Indian caste system. Hadn’t really heard of it, though I am aware that most societies have classes of sorts, and some are more formal than others.

In Lamb by Christopher Moore, The Cartoon History II by Larry Gonick and The Confusion: Volume Two of the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, major plot points of these books take place in India, and detail the caste system:

1. Brahmans (priests)
2. Kshatriyas (warriors)
3. Vaisyas (farmers/merchants)
4. Sudras (laborers)

Because this society believes in reincarnation and kharma, a person never leaves the caste they are born into in his or her life. It is assumed that if they are born into a higher caste, they did a good job in their former life and deserve their new position. No upward mobility here.

What’s more, I’ve been reading The Confusion off and on for over a year now. But I didn’t get to the part of the book that takes place in India until a few days after I’d finished Lamb and Cartoon History!

At least the fourth book I am reading right now, Investment Fables by Aswath Damodaran, won’t bring up the Indian caste system.

Wait a minute! ASWATH DAMODARAN IS INDIAN! Aaaaaah!

(cue twilight zone music)

Silent Friction

We have taken to having arguments in sign language with Roan.

Me: What are you?
Roan: (I’m a girl)
Me: (You’re a boy!)
Roan: (You’re a girl!)
Me: (No, I’m a boy!)
Roan: (Mommy’s a boy!)
Me: (No, Mommy’s a girl!)

and so on.

He can keep it up for an entire 30 minute car ride. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a toddler get the best of me in an argument.