Sunday, June 14, 2009

My new word.

In Art College I had a teacher, Derek Besant who, as a student in art college (or university--not sure where he was educated, actually...), had a teacher who took an idiosyncratic approach to yardwork. As I recall, when this other teacher's neighbours complained about the length of his lawn, he had all his students come over to his house one weekend, cover the yard with cement, and paint it green.

Even at the time I first heard this story, many years before I'd be fortunate enough to marry someone who came with a yard I'd come to call my own, this struck me as a good idea.

As the guy who's spent a stupid amount of time this last week and a half tearing dandelions with root systems that even your average redwood would have to grudgingly acknowledge as impressive, pouring concrete over the whole damn mess strikes me as not just a good idea, but something I'm actually kind of stunned isn't the norm, at least when it comes to people who've got better things to do with their lives than root around in the dirt (and if you aren't rooting around in the dirt for the purposes of feeding yourself, your family, or me and my family, you've got better things to be doing than digging around in the dirt. Like reading. Or eating. Or watching paint dry.)

Transforming my yard into something resembling the world's smallest detonated minefield one #*&%ing batch of dandelions at a time has become something of an obsession for me now. Originally, as part of the prep for this coming weekends Temple of Fondoom party, I'd wanted to get the back yard looking like someone had done something to groom it sometime in the last five years, which was a tricky proposition, as no one had. Well, Tiina might have. I was too busy reading, eating, and watching paint dry to notice.

Clearly, there's no way the lunar landscape out back is going to be anything remotely resembling presentable by the weekend--I've slowly come to realize that what I naively thought of as "the lawn" was actually thistle, while "the yellow stuff" turned out to be the grass. But still I continue, consumed by the desire to purge all dandelions from the backyard.

Which is, by almost any measure, not what I should be doing over the next week. Mowing, sure. Cleaning the house, definitely. Even plugging away at the spec screenplay revision (Emmy-Winning Hollywood Producer sent another round of notes in) and the script for NO MORE PARENTS, if I can't possibly avoid writing something more ambitious than a blog post. But what I should absolutely not be doing is ripping up great sections of the yard trying to eliminate the pestilent weed that the majority of my neighbours--while impressed with my nobly misguided efforts--seem to agree is something you've just got to live with.

So of course, that's all I really want to do at the moment. It's not a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence--the grass is also yellow out there. It's a deadly combination of addiction and procrastination. I call it procraddictination.

Actually, I don't call it that. I just came up with it as I typed the last sentence. But I might start calling it that now.


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