I have not been writing much about mundane things in my life recently because for a while I wanted to just sit back and enjoy them and not think about them. I’m sick with the tail end of a cold right now and not enjoying my life as much as usual this week, so this is a good time to take note of a few things since the week is otherwise shot to shit.
Burying the bird pole
Watching the birds in our backyard is an endless source of amusement for Amber and me.
We had a feeder on our deck when we moved in, but the squirrels kept getting into it. We tried all sorts of things to get rid of them or at least keep them out, but nothing worked. So we bought a Squirrel Stopper pole from Duncraft and buried it in the yard, and finally the little bastards can’t get to the feeders anymore.
The only issue we had with it early on is it’s designed to twist into the ground. The pole is made in Ohio, where they apparently don’t have access to Georgia Red Clay, because I could only twist it to about two-thirds of its target depth before I bent the pole.
So we used it, two-thirds buried, for a month or two. I piled some rocks around the base to stabilize it some, and piled some dirt on top to keep them in place. But it was always a tenuous arrangement, and the Eastern Towhees kept digging them up (they like to dig).
I called the company that makes the pole and they sent me a new bottom piece with no hassle at all, which was good.
Last weekend, right before I got sick, I spent Sunday afternoon digging a hole and setting the new bottom piece in concrete. It was pitiful for a couple of days while the birds swooped around, expecting food to be there. But the concrete had to set 24 hours before it could bear any weight.
This week, there have been two baby cardinals coming around, one boy and one girl. The boy cardinal has a coat splotched with red, but not as bright as the dad’s. Both of them have dark beaks instead of orange beaks like the adults. They get on top of the pole and shake their wings, asking their parents to feed them. It’s funny to me that they can fly all the way over there, but they can’t get their own seed.
Squaring away my office
A few weeks ago, I painted my office Tennessee Orange. After I finished, I pushed my desk into the corner and set up my computer equipment, but the rest of it was in disarray for several weeks after.
Prior to painting, my books and other various junk had been stored on a ~$20 metal shelf from Target that was always meant to be temporary. When I moved everything out of the room to paint, it was piled up in a corner of the living room. When I finished, I decided not to move the stuff back until I got something more permanent to store it in, since I knew it would sit there another six or eight months on the Target shelf if I set that back up.
I ended up getting this cabinet from American Period Furniture on Ponce de Leon:
It’s from the 1880s or 1890s, made of French Mahogony. I think that’s called Colonial style, but I might be wrong.
I guess it’s supposed to be the ultimate sign that you’ve been punched into a domestic coma when you start buying antiques. I’m okay with that, if that’s the case. Being boring and domestic is a nice change of pace after living in apartments for most of the last 12 years. Besides, older furniture is made better than newer furniture.
I also got this footlocker from Gran (Amber’s grandmother):
So now I finally got all my crap squared away and my pictures hung back up on the wall, and the office is starting to take shape:
I have another project in mind to take on for my office next, but I read somewhere that when you announce something publicly it can sap your motivation to actually follow through with what you said you were going to do. So I’ll save it.
Drama with a certain relative
I’m not going to name names, but I do want to say something. After asking someone not to do something that was offensive on more than one occasion the nice way, he refused to stop doing what I asked him not to do. So I stopped being nice about it. A couple of people who are important to me are unhappy with what I said, and it’s possible more will be once they hear about it. But I’m glad I said it, and would say it again.
I don’t buy into the idea that someone being older than I am or being a family member means I owe them a pass to act like an asshole. I’m not disrespecting this person, I am treating him with exactly the respect he showed me.
Books, movies, etc.
I’m slowly easing back into reading books after several months this year of not doing a lot of reading. I started by finishing George Mitchell’s Ponce de Leon, a wonderful collection of stories and pictures from characters who lived there in the early 80s. It’s a quick read if you have any focus at all, which I haven’t lately.
Next, on Thomas Wheatley’s recommendation, I am in the middle of Harry Crews A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. It’s his vivid memoir of growing up in Bacon County, Georgia during the Great Depression.
Also, I picked up a copy of The Wrestler when Best Buy had it on sale for $9.99. I watched pro wrestling growing up, and read enough and watched enough about how the sausage was made to think the movie was a pretty accurate representation of what a lot of washed up pro wrestlers goes through on the indy circuits. Recommended.
I don’t really feel like writing reviews right now (maybe later), but I did want to mention them and say I enjoyed/am enjoying them.
Also, while I was sick (actually, starting before that), Amber and I watched the first four seasons of The Office on DVD through again. Season 2 was the best, Season 3 had some great moments and some implausible ones, Season 4 was okay. I want to go back through Season 5 and watch again when the DVDs come out, but I seem to remember it being disappointing. I’m thinking they should make Season 6 the last year, but they’ll probably drag it out a couple of seasons longer until it’s just ridiculous.
Football games, vacation
I’m planning to attend three UT football games this year: at Florida, Auburn, and Georgia. I’ve never been to Gainesville, and am hoping my expectation that the people there are mullet-wearing, lightbulb-smoking, jorts-staining methheads is at least a little bit of a stereotype. Reggie is coming with me to all three of these, which is awesome. While I would rather go to a game by myself than not go at all, it’s always preferable to go with a friend or two. If you’re going to be in town for any of those games, let me know and we can probably meet up for beers.
Amber and I are also planning a trip to Florida in October, which ought to be fun. She’s never been to Disneyworld. By planning I mean we’ve asked for time off from work and said that’s what we’re going to do. We should probably get on top of the rest.