Sunday, May 22, 2011

Three things and a beer

Yesterday I got two things accomplished, well three actually.

1. Went to the new Market.

Our local farmer's market has its own building now, yesterday was the official opening. Up until yesterday the Market was held in a parking lot in the summer and at the university student union building (the old Sub) in the winter. On the one hand it is great they have their own digs now, and appropriately in an old apple storage warehouse. On the other hand it is dark and echo-ey. It was packed and the crowds and noise were quite overwhelming. Several regular vendors were notably not present, for a variety of reasons.

2. Assembled my new lawnmower.

Jeesh!! Took almost the whole afternoon! These days, everything comes in a box, unassembled. And to read the instructions you'd think every purchaser has a fully-equiped workshop to hand.

It was cold and rainy and I was trying to assemble the darn thing in an unlit shed with a collection of scrounged tools. Five different sizes of wrenches required!! I have the most mismatched collection of wrenches imaginable, it was painful just putting the required tool list together, never mind actually assembling the darn thing. Instructions called for securely blocking the chassis while working, I balanced it precariously on an assortment of firewood logs.

There were two sets of instructions, one for putting together all the bits and pieces and one for preparing the gas engine for use, each published independently of the other. Having once made a living writing instructions for a variety of machines, processes and procedures, I will restrain myself from huffing and puffing over the inadequacies of these two sets of instructions, but I am offended that after centuries of work on improving such things, abominable instructions are still the norm.

3. Made a to-do list.

I make these things when I am overwhelmed by how much there is to do, somehow putting it in writing makes it feel like I have some control over it. Unwritten if feels like an amorphous weighty black cloud hovering somewhere above and behind me; I know it's there but I can't really see the extent or urgency of it. Once written it looks sort of manageable. I blithely attach "By When" dates (knowing full well it will never happen, but hey, we can dream) and feel like I have A Plan.

The list goes in my List Book, a notebook dedicated to this activity alone. It contains to-do lists dating back several years and over several home locations. Kind of funny reading all the things I thought I would do, but a lot of it actually got done. The big things anyway.

Sell condo.
Build kayak.
Buy house.
Pack my stuff, over and over and over.
Fix the truck, again and again and again.

On my current list I thought that after I got the lawnmower assembled I would then bake some cookies. However, it turned out I didn't have one key ingredient for the chosen recipe and had no desire to pick another recipe, so I have left that to-do undone and added "Go Shopping" to the list. Maybe tomorrow.

As my reward for accomplishing two---maybe three---things, I went to a play in the evening, a local production of Oliver!

In spite of some of the characters in that story being familiar to me, I did not know the story itself. I have avoided all things Dickensian (with the possible exception of the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol) since my first encounter with David Copperfield in high school. Anyway, I quite enjoyed the production even though it was incredibly schmaltzy. It did nothing to convince me to rethink my attitude toward Dickens, but the players were good and community theatre is A Good Thing. They even managed to recruit some three-year-olds to participate in the production and they were quite hilarious.

After the show the entire cast quickly moves from the stage to the theatre lobby so they are there to greet the audience as we emerge from the theatre. It's quite nice to be able to see and talk to all the players, congratulate them while they wave at and greet the audience they could not see while performing.

My friend and I checked the time when we were outside in the parking lot, the night was still young, so we went to the pub for some music and beer. Thugs@Bay were playing, we got seats at the bar in view of the band and spent the remains of the evening listening, drinking and chatting with friends. There is no dance floor in this pub but some young folks were dancing in the narrow floor space between tables and booths, even one waitress danced around with beers and bills. We were so close to the band that between sets we chatted with them as well. They commented on the music scene in this town, how it was such a great place for a young band to get started, and how much musical talent there was in the area.

Next on the list is "Mow the lawn". If it warms up, maybe later today...


Wisewebwoman said...

*hand up* compulsive list maker here too. Otherwise I would have a nervous breakdown.
One thing I can't tackle are those mechanical assembly. Terrifying.
Thanks for your links, Annie, BTW.
I cringe at the O'Bama nonsense.
Such Paddywhackery embarrasses us Irish no end.

Barbara Anne said...

Cheers for accomplishments! I also keep to-do lists in a book known as my peripheral brain.

Don't get me started on the inane, inadequate, and/or WRONG instructions enclosed with "some assembly required" items these days. It's like English was not the first language for the writer and that the company didn't have anyone try to follow the written instructions before they were mass produced.

Methinks you need "tools" on your Christmas list!