Phoebeless salad party
Friday, June 25 2010
It was hot but not as hot as yesterday. Still, the die had been cast in yesterday's conditions and today Ray and Gretchen wanted to go to the secret spot [REDACTED] to cool off. So we loaded up the dogs and drove over. There was a beat-up old van there festooned with Obama stickers and one informing us that "COMPOST HAPPENS." Indeed. That van turned out to belong to an old hippie dude who did two things on the shore while we splached around in the water: he smoked his herb and then he strummed his guitar.
As we were arriving, a car rolled up behind us and disgorged what can only be described as a shipment of white trash. They had it all: the overweight parents, the missing teeth, the overweight kids, and the missing teeth on the overweight kids. Thankfully they went somewhat upstream to do their frolicking.
Esopus Creek was runnig unusually low and the water tended to be cold except on the very surface. So I staked out a place in the shallows where I made myself a pillow of gravel and hollowed out a place for my rump (so I could lie on my back relatively flat). Even though I was entirely in the warm surface layer, it was cold unless the sun was shining on me.
The water seemed to invigorate Sally. She ran up and down the bank like a little puppy, trying to drag impossibly-large sticks. When Eleanor came bounding out of the water, Sally "attacked" her in the mocking way she does, but she was so worked up, Eleanor momentarily thought it was for real and there was a brief altercation. Words were exchanged, though they were the sorts of words that could be taken back.
This evening I decided finally to mow the lawn for the first time in weeks (using the electric weedeater). While I was doing that, Gretchen drove to the Kingston bus station to pick up our friend Sarah the vegan, who would be spending the weekend with us. Gretchen had made a dinner tonight comprised of three different salads (one of couscous, another of pasta, and a third made mostly from lettuce). The Phoebe nesting on the light above the east deck hates it when we dine out there, but it's the perfect place for a dinner party in nice weather. So the Phoebe feels the need to abandon her nest for the duration of our time out there, perching on various nearby objects and repeatedly shouting the one thing she knows how to say: the name of her species.
After some research, downloads, failures, and finally a success, I'd finally managed to burn a copy of the AVI download of Hot Tub Time Machine to a DVD so we could watch it in the conventional way on our DVD player. (The key ingredient proved to be a program called ConvertXtoDVD, which can either be legally bought or illegally downloaded for free using Bittorrent.) I hadn't much enjoyed this movie when I'd seen it on the plane from Portland, but it seemed like it might be a fun stupid movie to watch with Gretchen and Sarah. So we watched it. I have to say, I actually enjoyed it this time. Without the airplane noise obscuring the dialog, it didn't seem as trite and formulaic. And the essential simplicity of the time travel at the heart of the movie seemed more like a feature than a bug. As for Sarah and Gretchen, they enjoyed the movie too. But this could have just been the result of lowered expectations.
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