Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to remove a Dietes (this is a long one)

In a word, with RAGE, but we'll get to that.

See, friends, I was having an awesome day. I just had the one lecture first thing in the morning and then I'd decided that since I didn't have to write a coaching update or study for an exam or work on a project or do anything extravagant with my crops at work, that I'd go for a bike ride.

OK, strike that - I *was* going to go for a bike ride until I was reminded (frequently and painfully) that my feet were still fucked up from Crossfit waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in January and that the doctor had ordered me to get them X-rayed for fractures and I still hadn't done that because LO I had no time.

And, hey, here was some time right here on this fair Tuesday.

So, I actually gave up on the idea of a bike ride (boo) and decided I'd do the stupid boring responsible thing of getting my X-rays done. Fine. I'll drive aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way to Palo Alto to get my feet X-rayed and who cares if it eats my whole day, maybe I'll be able to walk again without sharp pains racing through my feet.


Then an angel, who is actually one of my "little friends from school" (as Bubba likes to call them) told me that the medical foundation I go to (and fucking love) has a location about fifteen feet from our campus.


So, I did that. I went there, they X-rayed my feet in under 10 minutes and BAM! I was on the road to freedom.

Oh what to do with all of my freedom and approximately five hours of pseudo-free time?

I'll tell you, that drive home from Santa Cruz was positively saturated with fantasies of productivity and getting-aheadness.

You know, like oh my god I'll finish Donk's birthday gift, assemble stuff for sale at my next event, send some long overdue emails, play with the dog, make a decent dinner, plant a few things in the yard, get ahead on my reading for next week's class, study for next week's plant quiz, etc.

It was nice to feel like I might actually be not totally crushed for time for once in my life.

And then I came home, went to pick up Bubba's dry cleaning from our porch and saw the thing.

The thing that would mean that my dreams of an afternoon filled with luxuriously productive getting ahead projects and dog cuddling were going up in effing smoke.

Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

What you're looking at there is the thing and the thing is the water line riding against the foundation of our house.

Did you know that we do not live in a castle with a moat? Because we do not. And that is the only reasonable explanation for why one's house might have a water line right up against its foundation.

But again, we don't live in a castle with a moat (though, wouldn't that be badass?), so this was alarming.

Like, time to make up some new swears alarming.

Like Oh Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo alarming.

But, I'll be honest here, I wasn't ready to give up on my afternoon of productivity. Even when faced with the disaster of There's Standing Water And An Obvious Leak In Our Pipes Which Is AT THIS MOMENT Eating Away At The Foundation Of Our House floating right there staring at me.

I went inside. I shut the door behind me. I stood over the bar and I contemplated crawling inside and not coming out until all of my gin bottles (and there are a few, I'm just saying) were empty.

Then I put away the groceries and took a deep breath. I pet the dog and took some more deep breaths. I realized that THIS was why our water bill had been so high. I took another deep breath.

And then I went to find a screwdriver to pull the lid off of our water meter box so that I could be sure that this was a leak and not just the result of...oh, I don't know, some prankster leaving our hose running until the moment I returned home and then turning it off?

I don't know. It's the only thing I could think of to do: Make sure that there's really a leak.

So, after making sure that all the water in the house was off, I went out to the meter with my screwdriver, pried the lid off, swept for black widows (Hi, bitches! Move your ass! There was a big fatty in there. Blech.), flipped the cap of our meter back and BEHOLD the leak indicator was spinning like it had never spun before.

Hooray. We officially have a leak.

Also, duh.

And then I was put to a decision: go back inside and proceed on with your day as though you never saw the leak and try to not think about it guiltily as you ignorantly go about your day that is now ruined by the knowing of this awful fact OR go put on your work clothes and do the right thing - attempt to fix this thing?

I'd like to say that I raced inside, threw on my work clothes, tied my hair back, gathered all the tools I could possibly need for the job and raced out to the front yard to fix this leak in under 10 minutes without even getting dirty PHEW! but that would be a lie.


I went back inside and made a deal with myself.

I would do a *few* of the things that I'd really hoped to do and THEN I'd put on my work clothes and go fix this mother fucker and THEN I'd take a shower and drink a lot while making dinner and hoping that Bubba would forgive me for the hour in which I did not fix the leak but instead finished gifts, made herb salts and fed chips to the dog.

Also, my favorite mechanism for cheering myself up is to sit in the backyard and feed chips to the dog. She loves chips. And when I have chips, she will sit next to me with her cutest sweet face on and let me face cuddle her and everything as long as I keep feeding her chips.  We share the chips (as in, one for me, one for Jada) and it convinces me that somewhere, deep down in her dog brain, she loves me a lot. It cheers me up and I needed cheering.

So, yeah. I did that stuff and then I bid a fond farewell to my clean clothes and nicely blow dried hair and made up face while donning my real work clothes and a shitty ponytail.

Have I told you I hate wearing ponytails? I do. I hate it. My head looks like a jack-o-lantern when I'm in a pony and it whips around all annoyingly and I hate it.

Anyway, whatever.

I went back out to the front yard in my No Fucking Around-wear, with my shovel, a bucket, hedge pruners, trowel and a bad attitude.

Which is when I discovered a few things:

1. There was definitely a leak. HELLO DUH.
2. No amount of scooping and digging with the shovel was making any difference so this must be an active and sort of big leak.
3. Trying to figure out where it was coming from with the sunuvabitching Dietes in the way was never going to work.
4. I have been wanting to get rid of (read: BURN TO THE GROUND) the Dietes for a while anyway, so maybe it was time.

So, now we're getting to the How to remove a Dietes part of this post.

And now you can see why RAGE is the number one tool you must possess in order to get these things out. Because I will tell you with 100% certainty, that if I was not completely soaked in rage at having my beautiful afternoon choked to death by this bastard leak and the prospect of removing the only plant in creation I hate as much as Bermudagrass, I would not have been able to get this fucker out of the ground.

Because Dietes root in the earth's core.

No, really - they do.

And it takes all the rage one 35 year old woman with a shovel, proper shoes and a good amount of physical strength (all without Crossfit, thankyouverymuch) can summon up to get these things out of the ground and into the street yard waste pile for Pinchy to pick up on Thursday.

Dudes - the thing tried to kill me. It took me no less than an hour and a half to get it out of the sodden sinkhole into which it had tried to disappear and into the street and it left in its wake a mess out of Revelations.

OK, I'll be honest, I have no idea what's in Revelations beyond the concept of apocalypse and this thing certainly felt apocalyptic.

Think I'm being overly dramatic?

Well, #1 - Eff you and #2 - no.

From the yard...
Across the sidewalk...
Time out for cute salamander that I rescued from inside the Dietes. Hi buddy! You're safe now.
And into the street.

 Yeah, it sucked A LOT.

BUT - and this isn't nuthin' - I figured out where the leak was coming from (sprinkler manifold), turned the water off to the manifold (handy shutoff valve I LOVE YOU) and left it clear to attach a new manifold on a day when I've recovered from this hot fucking mess of an afternoon.

So, there you go. Remove your Dietes. Or, if you're smart (unlike moi) - NEVER EVER PLANT A DIETES EVER.

Then, also don't go inside to sift through the mail and find your annual property tax bill.

Thanks a lot, dicks.

OK, I'm off to drink heavily and feed chips to the dog.