Days Go By…

Last week absolutely stunk. Sometimes it is stunning how rough and rude people are with everyone and everything around them. And also so very destructive. We have been constantly replacing and trying to teach people how to properly use some of our equipment, but nothing sticks. Teachers won’t reinforce what we teach, and kids are absolute morons. Well, not all of them, but the majority are. And you can tell.

Our composition lab has assigned seating, and whenever you have a good kid sitting at a station, there are no technical difficulties at all. Everything works, because they’re not trying to walk around with their headphones plugged in or do something they want to do but don’t know how to do with the computer audio system. Teachers don’t tell them not to, mostly because they can’t tell what the kids are doing, since they spend their time teaching instead of learning tech stuff (and understandably so).

So my whole week was spent fixing that junk, repairing printers, and running around constantly because it’s the only week, until the end of the year, free of testing of any kind. Now we’ve started up over a month’s worth of testing that will tie up 30-50% of all our computers. Oh, and some are just field tests. And the main big one is the test that we did in October. All of October. (sigh) I won’t rant here.

I’d rather speak of my fun weekend. Part of what made my week hectic was me trying to fit in some good old fashioned practice time. On Saturday morning I filled in for a tenor sax player in a pro big band. It was just a couple of hours, and by the end my chops were aching a bit, but damn it felt good to play again. All I did was sightread jazz music for two hours straight. There wasn’t any pressure, as I wasn’t going to be at the gig; they just wanted a full band to rehearse with. I made lots of mistakes, but still not as many as I had originally thought I would make, and so much of my embouchure and technique came quickly back to me. I dug it.

When I got home, it was a bit after lunch time, so I watched some of the ballgame and relaxed with a beer and a burrito. Then it was outside to enjoy a lovely afternoon and rake up my lawn to attempt to bring it back to life. I’ll tell you, nothing makes you feel more lame than getting worn out from raking. But it was nice to be out and having Austin run amok as I worked. I felt fatherly.

Eventually, our neighbors across the street came by, namely instigated by their little girl soliciting her being twelve and able to babysit now. She reminds me of my sister at about that age, which is cute but at the same time a little disconcerting. At last, Michelle was able to meet them and talk a bit. Two of the three neighbor kids offered to help rake, so I gladly accepted their services in exchange for some lemonade.

Sunday, poor Michelle was sick to her stomach, so I let her sleep most of the day away. I took Austin to the hardware store to gather up supplies to turn our lawn green again, and then he and I had lunch and returned to work outside. I got a little more of the lawn raked (good God my back was/is sore), then as soon as I got far enough, we were on to our mission: reseed the dead spot in the middle of my freakin’ lawn. It’s about four feet in diameter, and was a fire pit many moons ago and the previous owner, detailed maintenance man that I’m finding out he was, never decided to fix when a new pit was constructed elsewhere. Austin was pretty stoked to be able to water the patch with our new hose and his yellow ‘telescope’ (straight water nozzle.)

I feel almost accomplished this weekend. Almost. I did wind up wasting over five hours watching part of a Gilmore Girls marathon. Oh well. There’s still a ton more to do, and I need to seed and fertilize the lawn before the world orbits much farther. Of course, I also need to properly water the whole lawn with the great sprinkler system I have, but first I need to be able to power on the most likely illegal well, and that will require a hundred feet or more of 220 extension cord. At least then I’ll be watering my lawn with free well water rather than paying for city water.

Today after work I hope to get home and plant a little Green Ash sapling Michelle brought home from an environmental fair. And more raking, that way by the time the weekend rolls around, I can water and mow and seed and fertilize and be all set. Of course, weather could stop me, since we’re due to have some thunderstorms this afternoon.