Monday, March 19, 2007

Back to Work

Now that Spring Break is over, it's back to work. Not that I didn't work in the last 9 days, most of it just wasn't related to the class I'm teaching or my dissertation, although I made some progress there, too. No, most of the week was spent getting the pool ready for summer. If you ever go completely insane and decide to put one in, be sure to do your homework first. If you or your neighbors have even one tree between you, have a winter cover made for it so every leaf from every fucking tree within 10 miles doesn't end up in it. Our property has a lot of trees. Big trees. Oaks. Big Oak Trees With Lots and Lots of Fucking Leaves That All Fall Within a Week. Straight Into The Pool.

Mind you, I do not do things halfassed and would have had a cover on the contractor's punch list had I been the one in charge of the pool installation project, but it predates my arrival in The Man's world by about 5 years. Nevertheless, every year The Girl and I earnestly try to keep up with The Leaves and keep them scooped out of the pool, but come fall, between marching band season, honor band auditions, 4-H shooting sports events, homework and the neverending parade of extracurricular activities, it doesn't take long for The Leaves to get the better of us. The Leaves always end up winning. Until Spring Break, when the weather starts warming up, things start turning green again and we get serious about getting the pool ready for summer.

Summer around here is a big damn deal. Aside from all the summertime entertaining pool owners do, The Girl and I spend every afternoon floating, listening to music, talking and engaging in what we call, "Solving All the World's Problems." She's got quite the head on her shoulders. Don't know where she comes by it. The other thing about summer around here is our legendary 4th of July bash, during which it will be full of kids (Of course, I won't get in it for at least a week afterwards for the same reason I won't go to a water park, especially after the "Caddyshack" moment at last year's bash - ew.). This year though, there are some new reasons to be jazzed about summer. This weekend, the Man's daughter and her family are moving to a house a couple of miles from here so The Grandtwins will be over a lot more. My best friend since age 3 has also moved about 70 miles closer and her new place doesn't have a pool so she'll be over a lot more, too. Tragic, really.

So, back to why you should invest in a pool cover in case you ever go crazy and put one in. The process of ramping up is long and nassssty, my precious. First, all of those leaves (and algae and worms and sometimes dead animals that we didn't catch when they were "floaters") have been steeping, making the most lovely black tea all winter. This fluid must be drained via submergible pump, taking about a day and a half. Then, the remaining organic matter must be shoveled out and hauled away. The smell is rather akin to what Texas lakes smell like - worms and dead leaves and algae and sometimes dead animals that we didn't catch when they were "floaters." Pretty disgusting, really. The scoopage takes about half a day. The next step is to clean the stains from the "tea" off of the sides of the pool. Most times this can be done with a pressure washer, but it really needs a new coat of pool paint but we're going to do it next year (another misadventure in and of itself that I'll elaborate on another time), and I was afraid to use pressure on it this time. Sooo, The Girl and I bought a shitload of Magic Erasers and washed the whole damn thing down by hand. That took another half day. I don't know what's in those things (probably can't be good for you), but they really did the trick. They just don't last long enough. We must have used 2 dozen of them.

Yesterday we started adding water and it usually takes about 30 hours to fill it, using 2 hoses. I had to turn the water off last night though so I can stick two tiles back on this morning. Once it's filled, it will take a good 2 weeks of fiddling to get the chemical balance just right then we'll be in business. Of course it will still be too chilly for me to get in it until June but dammit it will be ready and waiting, taunting us with its sparkling blueness until then.


Natalia said...

Hi! I just wanted to say how nice it was to find another woman going through dissertation hell. I feel you. A lot. Feel free to stop by, drop by, vent, etc.


drsharna said...

Hi Natalia,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm surprised at how many of us there are out there. My Much Beloved and Brilliant Second Faculty Reader wrote a piece about dissertation centrism that I'm thinking about asking him if I can publish here. The main message is "Just because you've never done it before and you're the only one you know going through it, doesn't mean you're alone." Of course his version is far more brilliant and funny that my pitiful little synopsis.

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