Thursday, May. 12, 2005
Dear Diary:

My hostas have turned into little green mounds of surliness.

We're not talking the punk ass surliness of my rugosa roses, who will cut you as soon as look at you. This week I pruned the dead wood out of the rugosas and they inflicted some serious wounds. I have to tell you that if it wasn't for their intoxicating perfume, those roses would be dead to me.

No, hosta surliness is something else. With hosta surliness we're talking more the teenage, eye-rolling what-EV form of surly. If there is an anatomical chart that points to the last nerve in my body, you'd find that hosta surliness perched right on top of it.

I've been feverishly dividing hostas for the last while and throwing them in a holding bed whilst I await the arrival of heavy equipment to reshape the hill in front of our house, said equipment due sometime early next week.

As long as they're just little nubs sticking out of the soil, hostas divide and transplant effortlessly. The minute their leaves start to unfurl, though, it gets much tougher for them to weather a move.

So as I shifted them into the temporary holding bed I carefully told them that this wasn't their permanent home, it was just a rental, and if they could please remain nubs until they got to their permanent home all would be well with the world.

Did they listen to me? Did they remain nubs? No, no they did not. Within days of division and transplanting they began to form and unfurl their leaves because apparently my hosta are experiencing their teenage rebellion phase.

Can pasty white make-up, an excess of black eye-liner, black hair dye and an all black wardrobe be far behind? Huh? HUH? I Think Not.

Okay fine.

I will do my best to keep them alive after the final transplant, but I'm afraid there may be some serious mortality down the road. It would be fun to tell them that surly is as surly does, but dead plants don't absorb homilies particularly well.

Neither do live plants, for all of that.

Evenings I have been working on my cunning plan to turn my mom-in-law's German Shepherd, Shadow, into my running buddy. I can hear you asking, "Marn, how is that working out?" and if you aren't asking that and this is just random voices percolating through my mind, please, no need to bring that to my attention.

Well, at the moment the dog and I are still working on power walking. Power walking in this case would be 125 pounds of German Shepherd straining against a choke collar with enough force to semi-dislocate my left arm from its socket and drag me on our two mile walks at speeds just below jogging.

Then, of course, there are those moments when she hits the brakes and throws it rapidly into reverse, intently burying her nose in some olfactory delight that is invisible to me, her whole body screaming, "OMIGAWD Did You Smell That Tuft of Grass"?

Okay fine.

Clearly the concept of "heel" is not a concept Shadow is prepared to fold into her lifestyle at this time. This is a pity because I can run six miles now. If I could trust the dog to stay at my pace and not sprint, thereby tipping me over and dragging me face down along a gravel road for several miles, or suddenly freezing and in the process making me fall and break some portion of my body, then we could share a great workout.

That whole tipping me over and dragging me face down along a gravel road for several miles, or making me fall and break some portion of my body deal, has left me hesitant to try running with Shadow.

Maybe next week. And maybe never. We'll see.

Project Marn-Ra continues apace. At the moment I have my pull-ups up to sets of five-five-three. Wait. It gets better. My trainer informs me that the sight of my aged carcass producing pull-ups has seeded the notion of pull-ups in the minds of some of the younger women who use my gym and others are working towards them now. Yes, there are Ra-ettes in the making. You have no idea how delighted I am by this notion.

Of course, the challenge does not stop there. If I can get myself up to three sets of ten pull-ups, then I can strap additional weight to my body to make it harder. Or, if that's not pain enough, I can go for The Mother of All Back Moves, which is currently my next goal.

Oh, and that cheeky little monkey Audrey has issued a throwdown involving one armed push-ups.

First, I will have to see her produce them.

If the woman's got game, then as much as I fear the pain, I will see if I can cajole my aged arms to meet her challenge. Me? Insanely competitive?

Whatever makes you say that?

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 567.24 miles. 10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck Quadruple Duckage. You rack up the miles when ya train for a 10K.

Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers


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