Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Es Ist ein Ros Entsprungen

I was reminded, yet again, of just how differentially aware I am of my surroundings a few days ago when, shortly after finishing a blog entry that mentioned how the roses would likely be coming soon, I walked outside and saw that my tall rose bush had two fully open, even slightly past their prime, blossoms on it. This is me, or one aspect of me, in a nutshell: I will spend minutes examining a single maple seed without taking note of the tree whence it fell. My memory works in a similar way: vast tracts of the past have been deemed unworthy of storage; irrelevant details remain. If I were able to go through my memory like a desk drawer, or a hard drive, I'd have said, "No, thank you, I don't really need that memory, I'd rather be able to remember more about EFU's third birthday, if it's all the same to you." I'm not uncomfortable with the notion of limited storage space (or limited attention), but I'm not so thrilled with the notion that what gets kept or thrown away is so arbitrary. It's like walking into the kitchen and finding that all of your knives have been discarded and you've been left with bags and bags of twist-ties.

Anyway, when I got over the shock of the rose, it was obvious that it needed some attention. Look:

Now imagine me standing there in front of it singing, "Lo, how a rose ere pruning" because that actually happened. Sadly, I couldn't think of any clever way to continue the song, so I stopped there, though the melody remained trapped in my head for a while. I'm revisiting it now, though with the German lyrics. Trust me: there are things you could have stuck in your head that are much worse. For example:
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes
Each one she passes goes aah!

Deal with that one for a while! I have the impregnable armor of a 15th C. German song to protect me from the poisonously dulcet tones of Astrud Gilberto, but I suspect that you may not be so strong.

Anyway, I don't know from pruning roses, so I consulted my online knowledge base, which informed me that a) I was a little late in the year for pruning, b) I should go for it anyway, and c) I should prune the everloving hell out of my rose bush. The advice was to cut away anything that was smaller than a pencil. Also to get a good pair of gloves. Also that if I overpruned (unlikely, I was told), it would all grow back as long as the roots were healthy.

So last night, I stopped in at the local Home Depot, where I am a regular -- and not just because it's the best source of eye candy within two miles of my house -- and bought some pruning shears. I may or may not have made additional purchases: it is difficult to go into HD and not realize that there are things that you didn't know that you needed until that very moment but that at that very moment you understand you just can't live without. And then I came home, put on some gloves, took the safety off the shears and set to. Behold:

I left the two branches with blossoms, as well as one other that seemed especially promising, but otherwise, nothing on that bush is thinner than a Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencil. I also discovered that cotton gloves really are insufficient protection. I'm glad that bush is right outside my living/dining room window. I like to leave it open at night to cool the house down, and no burglar is going to get past those thorns.

I am given to understand that I should also deadhead the rosebush after the blossoms have passed their peak. I reckon that means I should find a) a forty-five minute version of "Uncle John's Band" and b) some weed, but as I have neither, I guess I'll just cut them off in a few days.


In other news, my cell phone was so clearly upon death's door a couple of weeks ago that I went out and bought an iPhone. I am now super cool; also, it is 2007.

I like the iPhone a lot, but I have to admit that the second best* thing about owning it is that it has made YFU insanely jealous. (EFU has not expressed jealousy, though when I responded to one of her emails from my iPhone, she called me back immediately to say, "You have an iPhone?" the implication, I believe, being that I am too old and/or unhip to own such a piece of equipment. Youth.) I may or may not have played to this jealousy. There are some rumors, which I can neither confirm nor deny, that I might have, on eight or fifteen occasions, been sitting with YFU in the car at a stop light and said, "Gee, it seems warm. I wonder how warm it is. Hey, I can find out with my iPhone!"

The goal for this week is to see how many times I can work, "You know, I bet there's an app for that" into the conversation. Ah, the joys of parenting and technology.

*The best thing being the ability to check all of my email accounts at once. The limit of ten accounts is unfortunate, but I'm making do.

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