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Things I meant to write about this weekend

2003-07-14 , ,

I was so busy this weekend but, unless you’re interested in my groceries or cleaning the apartment, it’s a short list of events:

  • Saw Elvis Costello at Central Park SummerStage on Friday. Maria’s coworker’s daughter is the organizer and got us VIP passes, putting us on bleachers directly in front of the stage. This is so much better than general admission it might be enough to convince Maria to go to more concerts. Rain hit during the opening act, Chris Robinson formerly of the Black Crows, but we had umbrellas and several of us crowded under them. Elvis Costello was in very good voice that evening and did three encores. His touring band, the Impostors, were in equally good form and everything sounded great. The graying of the crowd was as interesting as anything else and it’s sort of weird to see folks rocking out while their nine and ten year old kids clap and sway next to them.
  • I skipped the gym on Friday because I knew I would make up for it the next day. I cleared land with my friend Charlie in Dutchess county on Saturday. I’m also glad I’ve been going to the gym regularly because I haven’t done much real labor in a few years and I didn’t want to be sore after one day (I wasn’t, except for my knee) or useless halfway through the day. The place used to be a farm pasture and the two and a half acres intended for the house had completely grown over with maple, poplar, pin oak and a few ash. Amazing how tall these grow in twenty years. In the previous few weeks he had done a huge amount of work- there must have been ten or eleven cords of wood piled near the edges- getting the lot ready for construction and there was more to do. We felled trees, cleared brush, picked up trash and debris and when I wasn’t working, I raced around on his new Polaris ATV laughing like a fool. It’s a work horse 2003 leftover but in high gear I got up to 45 mph before scaring myself and backing off the throttle, it will jump stumps and deep ruts at speed (hence the sore knee) and it will do a quick wheelie if you thumb hard at the throttle from a stop. A few days before Kelly brought a backhoe loader (I was looking forward to that). We would have pulled stumps but it had blown a hydraulic seal on one of the stabilizers the previous afternoon and we couldn’t use it without showering oil everywhere. Darn. Managed not to kill or maim myself or anyone else with the pruning hook, chainsaws, atv or industrial chipper. The chipper, which we spent an hour dismantling and clearing after a small green sapling- along with the cotton rags and what looked like a roll of duct tape some previous user had chucked into it- wrapped up the disk and stalled it. I managed not to get stung or bitten by anything thanks to the usual field clothes of long sleeves, long socks, boots, tucked in jeans and gloves but probably due more to lots and lots of DEET. If my future offspring are dullards, this will be why. I also didn’t get on me any of the poison ivy that seemed to grow everywhere.

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