Today is the second of my involuntary holidays this week (business went crazy for two weeks but we're back to a slow crawl again, unfortunately). Yesterday Baby Girl and I went to the dentist and breakfast, wandered the shops along Hawthorne Boulevard (where she fell in love with a 招き猫 (Maneki Neko, the famous Beckoning Cat from Japanese folklore)
...and wanted one so badly I almost relented, but $21.50 for an adorable plastic toy with a waving movable arm? Too spendy! We went to Anzen instead and she fell out of love with Mister Beckoning Cat and into love with a pretty little Chinese temple bell now hanging in her room), played in Laurelhurst Park, read stories, played games and went down, the both of us, for three-hour naps. It was all-day, 24/7 adorable toddler all the time. Fun. And a little tiring.
So today was my day to entertain my self. I've been reading, from both paper and LCD, preparing for some Chicken with Sweet Onion Riata and barbecued asparagus, took a leisurely bike ride down to our little Madrona Hill Cafe and had a breve' and read the paper...lovely, languid day. If I'm going to be poor and unemployed I want to at least enjoy it.
The only task I set myself was mowing the remainder of the lawn. I'd gotten most of the damn grass mowed the previous evening, the only remaining bit was the very back of the back yard. So I stowed the bike downstairs, checked the oil, primed the carburetor, pulled the cord...
...and the fucking thing wouldn't run. Oh, it'd start OK. But after burning through the fuel I'd pumped in through the primer, it'd die. I checked the throttle, checked the fuel, nothing. The likely problem is that the carb is laquered or the jet is clogged, and I don't know enough about little Briggs engines to fix that. So off went the old clapper to the little mower shop on Lombard and went next door to borrow the good neighbors' push mower.Every so often I see them mowing, or hear the "whirr-whirr" of the old-fashioned rotating blades and think how cool it is to have this totally gasless, nonpolluting, human-powered mower. If you have to have grass (and we're too lazy to get about killing all ours and replacing it with some sort of artistic landscaping) what more Portlandy thing to have than a Green Mower, saving the Earth while getting your exercise and keeping the lawn suburban trim?
So, okay, now that I've used the thing to cut, oh, about one-sixth of my yard?
Fuck the Earth. It's gonna have to die beneath the smog-cloud of my power mower exhaust, because I'm not going to spend the remaining few years I have left trimming the grass with a goddam push mower. Leave aside the brutal ramming effort needed to cut down the long grass, the thing had to be re-run over any single patch of grass two to four times to actually cut the stuff. And the tall weeds? They laughed haughtily at it, surviving my most savage attempts to cut them down. I took me a good hour to trim probably less than 500 square feet of a 5,000-square-foot lot.
Sorry, Earth. You're a great planet. But I'm loving my dirty little Sears Lawnmaster. It just wouldn't have worked out between us.