This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Perfect Lawn

by donkeytale
Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 08:24:32 AM EST

She stood quietly at the window. I had brought her to me to provide instruction. My life had become a mess again. The tangles of time,people,alcohol, madness.

For years I had struggled against myself, kept myself heavily secured in emotional chains, mental bondage, a slave to others. I had worked very hard against all odds to remain a failure and had failed even that test. Accidental success had only deepened my misery. There are no chains wrapped tighter than those forged by easy success.

She took the glass I offered her and sat down across from me.

"What was your first job?"

"You mean as an adult?"

"No. Your first job."

I thought for a moment.

"My dad was a gardener. When I was eleven he made me work with him Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday all summer mowing peoples lawns."

Not a single friend of mine missed a single moment of his summer that year, I recalled with an acuity not diminished one bit by the passage of some forty odd years.

"Was your father the best gardener?"

"Not really. He did a lot of quantity over quality I would say. We hustled."

"Did you know this at the time, that there was a better way?"

"Well, sort of...the wealthy people always hired the nisei gardeners to tend their landscaping. The nisei were the best gardeners. Some of the designs in Beverly Hills or the old mansions in Pasadena...unbelievable."

"The nisei were interned during World War II. They seemed very bitter about it. They stayed to themselves."

I remembered a schoolboy crush I had on the daughter of one of the nisei in our town. She never returned my valentines card. Never even thanked me for the big heart shaped cherry sucker I left on her desk.

"Yes. They were born in America, in fact were among the earliest residents of southern California and yet they were imprisoned for years simply because of their japanese heritage." I always know my facts, even when the knowledge makes me unhappy.

"You have a lot of lawn. What is your favorite part?"

"The side yard by the patio."

"Yes, its lovely. You must make it perfect."

I looked at her.

"Do you know what is "perfect?"

I looked at her.

"Go work on your lawn until it is perfect."

I looked at her.

"You will know when it is...and when it is not. Perfect isn't a picture in a design magazine, no matter how glorified. It cannot be found in anyone's yard. The perfection I am talking about cannot be attained outside the place you inhabit. It cannot exist for anyone but you. The award winning lawn of your neighbor can never be your perfection."

I looked at her.

"You will find perfection only as a feeling which arises within you. Most important you must make yourself open and available to it. Otherwise, there is no path."

I looked at her.

"The goal of your life is to maintain your perfect lawn each day. As you do so and it becomes a routine habit, the feeling will transform into an attitude, an attitude which you may then bring into other parts of your life."

I looked at her.

"An attitude which you can only build one 'perfect lawn' at a time."

She rose and walked out the french door to the patio, then stepped back across the threshold.

"Its a big yard and there is still some sunlight..."

She left quietly without saying goodbye. I stared at the open door for a moment, felt a sudden heaviness pass through my body, then stood up and walked outside.


socrates said...

Talk about mailing it in. Or I guess this is mowing it in. Haha.

Anonymous said...

You never cared much for my fake monk schtick did you?

Oh well, I think I have a sequel somewhere too.

"The Perfect Hedge"

Its about a wall street trader who becomes disillusioned and chucks it all for a pair of pruning shears.

socrates said...

Are you talking about that tv detective show with Antonio from Wings?

That was a good one.

He was an obsessive compulsive p.i. who used those traits to catch the bad guys. On a related note, Wings was a much underrated sitcom. I think that was supposed to be an airport out of Martha's Vineyard.

By the way, I've never been there. With my luck, the only celebrity I'd run into would be Jim Belushi.

Hey Jimbo! Have you seen Brian Doyle Murray anywhere?

The latter by the way was pretty good, probably best known for his cantankerous portrayal of the golf grounds supervisor in charge of the caddies in Caddyshack.

Jim Belushi is not nor ever was a real actor. But I digress.

I got this in my inbox today. It was from some dumbass forum I can't figure out how to block. Apparently the Zillathon™ schtick has caught fire.

We're Serious.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:14 AM

From: "Old Elm Tree Forums"

To: DFQ2, Al Franken, Jill Stein...

Dear Friends,

I write to you today about a serious issue. Money. We need some.

Our never rosy finances have become worse.

We haven’t received a single donation since early August.

Google Adsense kicked us to the curb yesterday. We don’t know why because they refuse to tell, but their list of top reasons people get kicked off includes “user generated content” that is “detrimental” to their “ecosystem.” You do the math. Oh yeah, they also won’t pay you any pending amounts once you get kicked off.

I spent hundreds of hours putting together the OET General Store and to date we have made $1.00 from it. (Thanks, Code!)

The good thing about the General Store is that unlike Google Adsense, it’s our thing and we are allowed to promote it. We really, really need you folks to go and buy stuff. With over 900 retailers represented, I know there are some things that you need to buy there. As further encouragement, I am offering to be your personal shopper. I know my way around the store really well. Tell me what you are looking for, and I’ll tell you where to find it. I mean it!

Things are getting desperate around here. We had to let Max go. He is volunteering to help us with emergencies. I’m permanently disabled and living on SS. As a stroke survivor, Waiting for Hope is unable to work and unable to get SS because it is too soon to tell if she’ll be able to work later. We need to make some money off the site, but instead we’ve been losing money for a long time.

We need your support. We hate to ask, especially when we know many of you are also in dire straits (or Mike and the Mechanics). We really believe that everything you post here, and even just reading here, is a contribution to the site, but we need some help with this financial situation, and pretty quickly. It can't go on like this much longer.


Andrea and Waiting for Hope

p.s. Please tell your friends about us. We need more traffic, too.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll allow the ballyard image since there is a zen-like connection.

I have no idea about Wings, other than as a very crappy pop band from the 70s, allegedly featuring Paul McCartney and his off-key wife Linda.

In other news, Ravi Shankar has joined George in the Hindustani section of teh Sweet Bye and Bye.

That letter is a stand alone diary of its own.

This could be your new schtick, busting internet donations scams...oh, wait, that was your old schtick...

socrates said...

Haha, I knew you'd ok the Fenway lawn. There were four other screenshots I added but then deleted.

1) Big Al from Happy Days
2) Carl from Caddyshack
3) An astroturf lawn
4) the Johnny Cash middle finger

That's too bad about Ravi. Are we supposed to chant hare krishna or something?

That forum was an offshoot of Democratic Underground and Tinoire's Progressive Independent. They aren't really important enough to get their own socratisation.

I've an entry in the works. It'll be a new installment on Team Numbnuts versus the Team Breitbart cult. I'd title it Troll Wars, but someone else already coined that phrase.

Hey, that was you! Now those are the entries you should worry about saving. Any you posted at FDL and nowhere else should be salvaged for prepostericity.

Anonymous said...

I'll be honest, I never tired of the Johnny Cash pic.

I'll give you permission to use the Troll Wars title as long as you add your own numbering after the phrase.

Troll Wars 8.0 I believe is where I left off.

Those are all available I believe in Google Cache. I'll probably re-post a few here that give you maximal props.

What? No Joe Dirt?

socrates said...

I was kidding about those extra screenshots. I remember the last time I unilaterally decided to ham up one of your diaries with random images. It was scandalous.

I noticed earlier we had a big spike in page views. I think it's because there's a new stinkeroo centered around Team Breitbart and Marcy Wheeler.

As Joe Dirt said, "It's all about the consumer."

So if we want to keep readers, we better keep supplying them with the pertinent, irrelevant gutter snipe they've come to expect and gobble up from DFQ2.

~~ the true talent ~~

Anonymous said...

You mean they aren't coming to DFQ2 for my fake monk Schtick?

You need to Tweet it to the twitterverse, bro.

eh, well, looking forward to your Team Numbnutz vs Team Breitfart schtick.

That should pack the house.

socrates said...

They like your fake monk schtick. But common sense says there is a reason for today's spike. Yesterday Wheeler did her Karoli Kuns impersonation. Today McCain and Patterico have fired back. Obviously we are stuck with the audience we go to troll wars with. But that doesn't mean they aren't soaking in some of our other schticks.

Anonymous said...

emptywheel was a DKOS reject who started the Last Hurrah with one of the DKOS front pagers, Dem from CT.

Later she became a professional blogger for Hamsher and then either left or was ditched for Tblogg.

I think I crashed one of her threads at Last Hurrah when I was banned at DKOS to seek guidance from Dem from CT who had been a mentor.

I remember she was all upset by my hijacking her thread.

A blogger of very little talent...and a thin skin.

A female Greenwald.

socrates said...

Yeah, I knew there was a donkeytale connection and have already mentioned that in my blog rough draft.

I'm pounding this one out. It should be ready soon. I am adding in a lot of filler. So it will seem like an epic socratisation when it isn't.

It will take baby steps to return to DFQ2 greatness.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It's a bit like Dylan after the motorcycle crash. He'd released several epic masterpieces culminating in the first bootleg called "White Wonder" which were demos recorded with the Band in a row during the 60's then crashed on his bike either right before or after "Self Portrait". His mojo crashed deeper than his head on the pavement of the Rooling Stone found dead of over compensating drug addled sex fulminations on the Johnny Cash show.

New Morning on the Nashville Skyline Alert

socrates said...

I think part of the problem is too many bloogers think they are God's gift to socratisation. These are one in a million finds. One can't simply snap their fingers and voila, here's another classic.