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Monday, February 07, 2005

Weekend Observations

I'm happy to note that I'm not in large amounts of pain from the weekend exertions. Weight Training has paid off. I noted this first when using my dad's large branch loppers. For a good sized (2 inch diameter?) branch, this involves opening the loppers to about a 120 degree angle and then using a lot of force to close them. The force is similar to the weight machine where you bring both arms together in front of your chest. This muscle is frequently sore after weight training, but isn't even a little sore today. Hooray!

We met our neighbor from 2 doors down. His name is Sandor, and he runs a machine shop out of the back of the house. He actually lives in Sunnyvale, and owns a bunch of other properties around the south bay, but this is his old house and his shop, and one of the employees lives in the house part now. Learned a bit about him - 3 kids aged 22-30, with the 30 year old boy about to graduate from med school, the 22 year old boy being a slacker with some programming skils, and the 28 year old daughter. Not sure what she does, but she's living back at home with her kid after her divorce. Anyway, Sandor seems nice, a bit nouveau riche (speaking of wealth and spending a little heavily), and very willing to be a good neighbor (offering the loan of tools and such). When it was first pointed out that I was my dad's daughter (he met my dad the day before), he said, "Oh, pretty girl. You're a lucky man." My dad instantly corrected him, "Oh, she's more smart than pretty." It wasn't like he agreed with him first, that yes, I was pretty. It was like he was saying, "Well, I don't see that myself, but I'm sure glad she's a smart cookie." It was a weird moment for me. It was like I couldn't be both in his mind. It got me to thinking a bit. More value has always been placed on smart than pretty in my family. People tell me I'm cute or pretty or attractive now, and I honestly have a hard time believing it at all. I think I may have just uncovered a few roots for that. The funny thing is that there are certain things in life that I've decided not to do or pursue because "I'm not pretty enough" to excel in them. I rarely doubt that I'm relatively intelligent(not the top of the heap, but a smidge above average). I scarcely ever think, "Yep, looking good." I've also never pursued a bunch of things like learning to do makeup or do things with my hair because it never seemed like more than dressing up a mediocre palate in the first place. Anyway, the unasked for compliment was appreciated from Sandor, and the response from Dad opened up a whole thought process in the back of my mind. Odd things to think over while ripping down vines and avoiding spiders.

Another odd thing was noting my dad's eating habits. He doesn't have any interest in or appreciation for homemade food. He's been on the road for FEMA so long that he's entirely used to eating all fast food and restaurant food. It was a challenge to get him to eat my chili on Sunday instead of going out to buy a sandwich. Also, he doesn't like strawberries. My breakfast of crumpets, strawberries and an egg on Sunday seemed all wrong to him. He wanted a breakfast bowl from Carl's Jr. It sounded better. This was hard for me to wrap my brain around. The strawberries were yummy. He had eggs and toast.

Also, there is a stump leftover from a weed I cut down last fall. The weed was grown to a little over six feet tall, and I clipped most of it away, and finally sawed it off. Then there was just the stump left, about five inches across. I tried to remove it then. Rick spent over an hour hacking on it yesterday. Then I spent an hour hacking at it. Seriously, this must be the toughest substance ever grown. We should build houses out of it. You can hack and hack and hack on it, and with only a tiny amount remaining, it behaves like a solid piece. We finally gave up and decided to take it on another day. And the plants from that weed's seed are coming up all over the rest of the yard. These have been summarily doused in large amounts of Round-up. This weed is the enemy. It will never be allowed to grow above my knee again.

We have a lot of calla lillies. I cut six beautiful lillies and put in a vase on the table. They look so nice. I hope they survive their various moves and start to grow again. They're all lined up by the edge of the deck.

Things I do want to plant: Page Manderin tangerines, basil, sage, oregano, strawberries. Also, maybe a Nectarine tree. And a lot of allysum.


  • The pretty/smart thing is an interesting perspective.
    I have always thought it was neat that you had a kind of down to earth/practical attitude towards life which included not much fuss about make-up.

    By Blogger Chris S, at 2:07 PM  

  • I think what your Dad was probably intending was something along the lines of "and she's REALLY SMART, too" - which I think is a really important thing to emphasize. Little girls are constantly told how cute and pretty they are. Which is sweet, but isn't really the trait one should be basing one's self-confidence, or moreover self-worth, on. His phrasing may have come out sounding wrong, but I suspect his intent was really quite admirable. The fact that you ARE pretty but don't find it necessary to trade on it as your prime asset speaks volumes of an upbringing that taught you to be self-reliant and intelligent rather than batting your eyelashes and acting helpless.

    By Blogger BlackSheep, at 10:09 AM  

  • Both very true comments. I do have a very down to earth, no nonsense, no froo-froo attitude, and I do like that about myself. And knowing my dad, he didn't intend it to be as backhanded as it felt, but still, he has a really hard time appreciating things. He always refers to his girlfriend as "attractive", and that's not something he could ever perceive me as being, so that's part of it. He doesn't have my sense of general beauty in the world He sees everything as functional or not worth-while. If it serves its purpose, it is good. For me, I love beauty. I love Amelie and sculpture and rich fabrics and glorious architecture and the human form. He can't be bothered. So, it's a world view thing, and I really hadn't thought about it much before.

    By Blogger Ammy, at 1:21 PM  

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