Sunday, April 25, 2004

No fair

It's been an eventful couple of days out here in the country.

Yesterday I woke up early and finished planting the peppers. There are now five bell-pepper plants, four sweet banana pepper plants, two jalapeƱos, two Anaheims, and one cayenne. I noticed that the second crop of radishes is up, as is the tarragon. I also spotted a couple of new chard seedlings emerging.

A little after noon, I showered all the dirt and sweat off of me and we set out in the car with the intention of going to the county fair. Our county is very sparsely populated, but we figured there'd be all kinds of interesting livestock, a midway, etc. Wrong. We followed the signs, rattling and clanking down a rutted dirt road to find...absolutely nothing. There was one ride (a loop-de-loop), a funhouse, and a Skee-ball lane, and that was it. People kept arriving one by one, taking a glance at it, and leaving. Pitiful.

So then we were left with the prospect of an afternoon with no entertainment. We hopped in the car again and went to the Habitat for Humanity thrift store, but we didn't find much beyond a set of wheel casters and a couple of cookbooks. So we embarked on a road trip to a small college town about 45 minutes away. We went to a Goodwill store there (thrift shops are where I do almost all of my clothes shopping, and where we get a lot of other incidentals as well), where I found a couple of nice tops and a skirt. Then we ate at a Mexican restaurant. That was about it. Thrills are hard-won in the country!

Once we were back home, I had to water all the garden beds and then get ready to go to my bartending job. I put on one of my new thrift-store acquisitions (an example of the current stripey 1980s fashion moment...very Ocean Pacific/Hang Ten), tweaked my hair a little bit, and hit the road.

The bar where I work is in the university district of a nearby city. Usually parking is preposterously difficult. But last night it was literally impossible, because there was a major sporting event happening AND it was prom night. For the sporting event, which is an annual affair, the police always rope off half the district from automobile traffic and try their best to contain what always turns into a massive indoor-outdoor cocktail party. It's really something to behold.

After a little futile searching, I ended up parking in the neighborhood where the s.o. and I used to live before we moved to the country, and then walking quite a long way to get to the bar. Work was busy and crowded with revelers. The customers partied hard and tipped well, so it was a good night for us bartenders. On the other hand, it was a pretty hellish night for the bar-backs because they had to clean up a lot of vomit. At the end of the night, for safety's sake, I asked a couple of my co-worker friends drop me off at my car. I got home at approximately 5 am.

Fast-forward to noon today, when the s.o. brought me some hot, fresh coffee and told me his father and brother were about to pull a surprise visit in 20 minutes. They had decided to drop in on their way home from seeing other relatives. I am always happy to see them, but...holy crap, a little lead time would be nice! I showered yet again (to get the smoky bar smell off me and rinse the inevitable sticky drink splashes out of my hair), cleaned the sink and the toilet for our guests, and raced to the convenience store to grab some charcoal briquets and ice.

The convenience store in our tiny little town is run by a couple of really great Pakistani guys. The older one is married to a local woman and quite literally has a red-headed stepchild. The younger one was in the store today and announced to me that the reason we hadn't seen him lately was that he'd been on vacation back home and had gotten married while he was there! So now they're doing the INS shuffle to try and get her over here as soon as possible. I'm very excited to meet her.

I got home and grilled some chicken and potatoes for our guests, and we showed them around the place. They didn't stay long because they had to get back on the road--they still had seven hours to travel today. So now the s.o. is drinking beer and watching NASCAR, and I'm decompressing here.

I might go lie in our hammock out in the woods for a while. I've earned it.