I had a surprisingly active, and even moderately productive day. I put away the air conditioner for another winter (a more complicated process than one might expect), defrosted the wine fridge, helped atara with a few chores, and did a couple chores of my own. Intersperse that with shopping, and a 3ish mile walk along Bunn's Creek, and it is no wonder that I feel slightly tired and accomplished this evening.
Our ragtag little garden got hit with frost last night, and everything is quite thoroughly dead. It was a shitty year for gardens, with a very late start, and not one of the warmest summers we have seen, so it was not a terrible loss. I went out this evening and salvaged as many of the cherry tomatoes as were worth salvaging. The heirloom tomatoes were a write-off this year, so after picking - and then tossing - the ones that looked to be in salvageable shape, I moved on to the Roma tomatoes. There too only 3-4 of them looked to be worth rescuing. I grabbed the zucchinis that were still on the vines, and then scavenged a few handfuls of beans that had been protected enough by the leaves to not get frost damaged.
We knew that there was a good chance of frost last night, but the disappointing state of the garden, and the fact that we are into October convinced us not to bother covering it up. There is no reasonable expectation of warmer days to come, so it is unlikely our bumper crop of green cherry tomatoes would ripen even if we kept them alive, and the beans had pretty much run their course. Next year we are planning to bring in landscapers to dig the entire mess up and replace most of it with a deck. We are going to put in a few raised beds, and convert the rest to sod. Much of our garden has been underutilized for years anyway, so a few raised beds will produce as much as we have for the past 3-4 years anyway.
Bunn's Creek was a pleasant walk whenever the sun came out, but much of our hike was cold and blustery. Today's weather was a decided reminder that summer is truly over, and that winter is just gathering its might before it decides how hard it wants to bitch slap us across our faces. We deserve a relatively mild winter after the brutal winter and mediocre summer we just came through. Right now it is sounding like we might have a weak El Nino this year, so that could help.
I don't normally talk about my dreams in public, but I had one last night that was too surreal not to share.
A few years ago, when atara and I were sitting there, minding our own business at a table in one of the hallways at the MFF hotel, the con chair came bustling by with the GOH and he noticed us there. He needed to be somewhere, and rather than dragging the GOH along with him, he planted him at the table and said, "Here, why don't you chat with plonq and atara for awhile?"
This dream started off similarly, except instead of a furry convention GOH, it was Trent Reznor who got foisted onto us. It was weird, and kind of awkward because as much as I'm a huge fan of his work, I could not imagine what the three of us could possibly have in common to talk about. As an added complication, atara and I already had imminent dinner plans where we were hooking up with a couple of friends and heading to a fancy restaurant. I told Trend he was welcome to join us, and he seemed amenable to the idea. I called the restaurant and asked them to change our reservation from four people to five, and they had no problem with that. We had booked a private room, so it was just a matter of bringing in one more chair.
The dream had a transitional jump at this point, and we were pulling up in front of the restaurant with the five of us in our Subaru. The restaurant looked suspiciously like the new one that opened in the park up the street from us, so it was somewhat uninspiring from the outside. We all piled out of the car, handed the keys to the valet, and let the hostess know that we were there for our reserved room. As she led us through the restaurant, I was relieved to find that it was actually quite upscale, and I felt better about bringing a celebrity there.
Then we got to the "private" room.
When she opened the door to our private dining room, the true horror began. It was the opposite of fancy. It was a large room, with scuffed linoleum floors, white-painted cinder block walls, and aluminium-framed storm windows overlooking the park. There were rows of humming fluorescent lights overhead, and the dining area had 3 metal-legged, Arborite-topped tables surrounded by one-piece moulded plastic chairs that looked like relics from the 60s. The tables were at the far end of the room, flush up against the windows.
When I say the far end of the room, it is because the room was very wide. It had to be wide to accommodate the four four 5-pin bowling lanes that stretched off to our left as we entered the room. They were all in use, and it was as noisy as one might expect a bowling ally to be, with the clatter of pins and the rattle of the ball-return. The other four wandered away to the table, and when I glanced over, I noticed that Reznor wore expression that seemed to fall somewhere between amused and bemused - a "what have I gotten myself into" kind of look.
I was embarrassed and flabbergasted at the same time. I fear that my dream self was not especially polite with the hostess, and I asked her what part of "private dining room" included an active 5-pin bowling alley. She apologized for overbooking the room, but was adamant that they had no other rooms, and that bowling was too important a revenue stream for their restaurant for them to make the bowlers leave. Even my insistence that we were entertaining a famous celebrity would not sway her.
Alas, I don't know how the situation was ultimately resolved because Belladonna stepped on my head at that point and woke me up.