Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Democrats and Grass. . .

Is it just me, or are political conventions of little consequence anymore? When I was a kid, hell, they were knock-down, drag-out battles. Smoky room deals late into the night. Delegate fights. Dan Rather getting punched in the face down on the convention floor. God! I miss those days.
Anymore, only PBS carries full convention coverage, which is probably a good thing, because what little I caught of the Democratic convention Wednesday night was pretty dull. I caught parts of three speeches, three standard-bearers of the Democratic party past and present, and, man, were there differences in style.

John Kerrrrrry returned from. . . where has he been the past four years? I can't say he was really missed. When he got up for his speech, you could feel the life just escape from the Pepsi Center. HOW did this guy ever get the Democratic nomination in 2004? Blahblahblahlbah. John, step aside.

Joe Biden ended the evening. Personally, I'm glad he has been picked as the Obama Veep running mate. I've always been a Biden fan. One can't argue with his foreign policy experience--on a par if not greater than John McCain. It's tempting to label him as "Obama's Cheney," but let's not. His speech started off slowly, then he gained momentum and indignation; I was talking to my dad on the phone for much of his speech, but each time I turned to the tv, Biden appeared quite wound up and ripping on McCain and his continuation of Dubya values.

In the middle, the grey fox, Bill Clinton. What a speaker! He clearly made the case for why we can't afford four more years of the last eight years. He probably did it better than Obama will do on Thursday night. No one has a mild opinion of Clinton. You either love him or hate him; trotting him out in prime time was probably a big risk for the DNC, but he's a damned impressive force. He doesn't look his age; gettin' a bit of that strange probably agrees with him.

I just couldn't get that John Kerrey out of my mind, though. God, what a let-down. Kinda like watching grass grow. . .

Enough. What a waste of time and resources.

Speaking of Grass. . .

I never could get the hang of just what makes a lawn beautiful. I tried the Chemlawn route, to no avail. I water like I should--running up too high a waterbill--and it does no good. Fertilizer? Guess I should try that.

Maybe I'm just not a "lawn guy." To me, a "lawn guy" is my dad: Mr. Homeowner, a guy who loves lawns, loves watering, and flaunts watering restrictions to run his sprinkler system long into the night. It doesn't matter that his St. Augustine only needs an inch or so of water a week--by God! He's going to put as much down as he wants! I have a hobby--several, in fact. My dad, like lots of guys of his generation, didn't have hobbies. They fought a World War, went off to become that Man in the Grey Flannel Suit in corporate America, and when they got home from their business trips wanted nothing more to do on the weekend than pull weeds and water. Mowing? That was the job of the oldest son, once he reached "that age."

I can't knock the beauty of a wonderful, green, weedless lawn, but I feel sorry for those men whose lives are wrapped up in its maintenance. A neighbor a few doors down was such a fellow. Nice enough chap, I guess, but too corporate for me. I just didn't trust him. Every time I saw him, he was working on his lawn. It was perfect. To top things off, he was on the board of directors of our homeowner's association--probably the asshole who turned us in for painting our front door deep red without permission. And his wife was this perfect little preppy wife named Ashley or something like that, the kind of woman you know excelled in her class in college getting her business degree but gladly put her career aside to stand by her man as he manicured his lawn, getting pregnant every couple of years, and turning up her nose at the neighbor women. And she always wore a string of pearls.
But lawn nazi and his Eva Braun have moved on to a new neighborhod, off to California with a big promotion. The folks who bought his house with the perfect lawn have already moved in. And I see a few weeds creeping in. I think that means the new owners aren't such tight-asses. There's hope.
Our neighbor annoyed me. I don't know why. Maybe he was too much like what my dad was like as a young man at the same age: on a career track, traveling often, angling for the promotion, working on the front lawn too early on Saturday morning wearing shorts with black socks.
All the things I really hate about corporate America. . I guess because I never followed that path. Am I jealous? I don't know. Maybe it just reinforces that nagging feeling I have in my life as I near 50 years of age, wondering why I was never that go-getter guy.
Like my neighbor.
Like my dad.
Like all the guys with the perfect grass.


Miles said...

Ditch the Grass altogether and Xeriscape your entire yards with attractive native plants that require little, if any water.

Check it out!

Perhaps re-designing your yard could allow for a Garden Railroad? Just another facet of MRR'ing to get into..

The Biden Speech was Great. Hillary & Bill did well, I'm surprised you haven't written about Obama's Speech yet.

Anonymous said...

Don'tcha think you're being a little hard on yourself? "not a go-getter"? Screw the lawn! I don't know anyone else who is sought out and paid to do what they would probably do for free anyway . . . for example, take railroad pictures. I also don't know many dads who spend as much quality time with their kids. Remember that old saying: "No one ever said on their deathbed that they wished they had spent more time at the office".