Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monday I was heading downtown to buy some fabulous variegated zinnias I saw at the Farmer's Market, and out of the blue it occurred to me I could go to the community college campus downtown to sign up for an art course I need to take so I could have access to an incredible gazillion dollar lab on that campus. Little did I know I was in for a serious ordeal, because other than my driver's license and the usual crap one has in one's wallet, I didn't think to bring a copy of a bill from 2 years ago at the current address to prove I'd been living in the county these past two years.

Well, 20 years, come to think of it. Bitches. After the round-robin of lines, someone finally told me they needed proof of residency. I find that staggering, considering they take a walloping chunk of my Dallas County tax dollars annually, and still the burden of proof is on me?

Of course, this all brought me 'round to a new universal truth I just noticed - under pain of death, avoid dealing with bureaucratic bullshit whilst PMSing. ROWR!

The one bright spot in this ordeal was when I met a lady working in the counselor's office who was an absolute delight. I would put her at late 60s, and she seemed like she'd look quite at home with a cigarette and a beer. She reminded me very much of my opera voice teacher Pattye Johnstone, who died in 1999. Pattye was a salty old gal, and although she could be a trial in the studio, she was a one-in-a-million and had an incredible ear for a fine voice. I'll talk about her at length someday, but for now, it was a wonderful surprise to meet someone who seemed like she might have been her sister.

When I finally got out of the place, I was sweating profusely and too damned steamed to think of gardening, so I headed for home. Almost all the way home, my ire had cooled sufficiently that I decided to pick up a few plants, after all, so I went to Lowe's. I got a few incredible plants and this put me right into a much better mood.

Photos here are before and after. Yes, lots of weeding was done and the one on top is the after, but it doesn't look like I did as much as I perceive I did. Trust me - it was grueling and my ancient carcass was sore from it Tuesday. I got all sweaty and disgusting and covered in muck and oomska, then walked into the pool, flip-flops and all. You'd think it would be more cooling, but the pool water was 90 degrees, so it just felt good when I got out and a breeze cooled off my wet clothing. Then I'd weed, mulch and plant some more until I couldn't stand it, and got in the pool again. It's amazing how therapeutic gardening can be, but I confess it's much less tiring when you have a pool.

Now (Monday night) I can't even manage to work up a head of steam on my pissed-off drive. Here I was thinking I'd be cussing a blue streak in this post.

Anyway, still figuring out the Mac - ness, hence this post will be for Wednesday rather than Tuesday. I'm having to diddle my 4.M photos down to a manageable size on the computer at work. One of these days, I'll be doing amazing things with the photo editor program, but it's looking more and more like I'm going to have to break down and read the instructions on the editor.

Husband says that I'm so naturally good at so many things that I have no patience when I actually have to learn something from square one.
Whatever. I just think computer systems should make sense. If this machine is so brilliant, I shouldn't have to work so hard!


FHB said...

The whole thing about getting you to prove residence is about trying to get you have to pay non-resident tuition, which is a huge bite. A former student of mine who has now moved up to work on finishing his BA was just put through the same thing here. They required several forms of proof that he hadn't just moved to Texas. He's been here for about 10 or 15 years, since he got out of the army. His old electric bill wasn't enough. If you can't show to their satisfaction that you've been here more than a year they could gouge yer ass. I tell ya, higher ed is almost all about the $. How can we put more asses in seats and get them to pay as much as possibe for books and tuition? And oh yes, of course we're all about the academic excellence. Right. Maybe places like UT or A&M, with their bazillion dollar endowments. Little community colleges couldn't exist without ether getting it from the tax payer or the students, or maybe the government.

phlegmfatale said...

fathairybastard - I understand that principle, but it's shitty, considering I've already paid for any class I'll ever take there ten times over by virtue of city and sales taxes. I just don't like situations where I enter in deficit mode - it's a shitty feeling. I'm not a terrorist demographic.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

All your sweaty efforts were completely worth it. Looks fabulous - the colours are great and the balance between plants and hardware is wonderful. You have a great eye.

LJ said...

Ah-ha! My theory EXACTLY. It seems simple to me: perfect tool - the hammer.
You swing it down on a nail. It pounds the nail.
Now what if your hammer was designed to make toast and iron shirts?
Would it still be a good tool?
And that, if you can follow my insane logic, is what is wrong with technology.
And getting wronger by the day, in some cases. Well, Phelgmy, at least you haven't become one of those Mac Fundamentalist Born Agains yet!

Good luck with it, toots! Sorry to have been so long without dropping in!

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - oh, you are too kind - keeping things other than weeds alive this year has been something of a challenge. This will look much better in the fall. If we ever have a fall.

lj - Well, the main thing I wanted to do is what has so far eluded me with the mac - have a great tool for editing photos and making my goofy little drawings. I'll get it together and sort out the control panel, etc. I still love a PC - I see them as very different animals. It's just that the PC I had was a big old turd. Now, husband's hp laptop, on the other hand, is an absolute dream to use. Maybe Santa will wrangle me one of those, or sumthin'! No, I'm the last person who would ever be a computer snob. Nice to see you!