Monday, June 1, 2009


Hello there.

Friday - Backyard sod is done. Hooray. When I got home from work, a bunch of seemingly punk kids were standing around in my yard, smoking and talking on cell phones. Somehow, this led to my back yard having grass. Here are a few pictures of said lawn:

The front lawn? Not so finished. Not even really started. I guess he's going to my house today to do some work. I hope so, because I'm sick of looking like an idiot watering a palate of rolled up sod stacked next to my house.

Saturday - After watering the lawn, as I get to do twice a day for the next hundred years or so, I grabbed a shovel, a level and some retaining wall blocks and got to work. Nine hours (seriously) of digging, chopping, leveling and fine tuning later, I had the first row of blocks laid and ready for the rest of the wall. I would save that for another day.

During my time getting things ready for a wall, a weird man came over to fix the terrible door jambs and frames in my first floor hallway. The night previous, Amanda and I spent a bunch of money buying new interior doors and some wood, among other things, to get this crazy man ready for door fixing. He worked away throughout the day and got two jambs/frames/doors done. Not bad for a days work.

Oh, and it bears mentioning that this crazy man has an enormous (probably close to 400lbs) friend/girlfriend/12 steps sponsor. Why do I know this? Because she was his ride to and from my house. She showed up a full two and a half hours before he was finished and proceeded to park herself 10 feet from where I was fighting with a retaining wall. She talked and talked and talked. Ugh. I learned that she had a stroke awhile ago which led to her falling down. Upon impacting the ground (I assume), she hurt her hip. That's two ailments so far. She also is going through chemotherapy apparently.

(An aside - is chemotherapy our generations bloodletting and leeches? Will your great grand kids be looking back at medical history and say things like, "what? they intentionally ingested radioactive pills? Idiots..."?)

While sitting through her constant regaling, I made probably three sounds that could have been construed as communication. She did not get the hint. At some point during the "exchange" Amanda made the mistake of coming outside. She was stuck listening to the same things I was forced to listen to, only Amanda is much nicer than I am, so she felt the need to actively participate in the conversation, like a regularly functioning social person

At one point, I realized that our only hope was that this enormous, unhealthy and annoying woman would get hungry. She did. She left to get some dinner and I was left to work in peace.

Sunday - Not much happened on Sunday. Amanda and I put up the rest of the retaining wall in about an hour and a half, did a little yard tending and called it quits. I would have done more work, but I was, and remain, super ultra extra mega sore for getting the retaining wall ready. I am a gangly, weak 6'6" and was not designed to be crouched over working essentially underground for minutes, let alone the 9 hours I spent doing it on Saturday.

Here's the finished wall:

Not too bad.

After the wall was done, we went to see a matinee of Up and I got a new phone finally.

Lastly, here's that video I promised. My camera cut off before I could capture the triumphant ending, but here's an image of the finished product, after plantings:

And the video (the best is Amanda's mighty swing at around 1:48):

A woman walked by me yesterday morning, while I was working on the wall, and said to me, while gesturing to the Kennedy sign (which I found behind the bushes I tore out) leaning on my front stairs and said, "that's great. I'm glad you left it up. Good for you."


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