Imagine two bushes covered in red leaves and thorns, each more than five feet high. Now put a smaller bush, anemic and past its prime between them. In front of the smaller bush is a sidewalk light, but it's easily removed. Near the back of the bush is the house itself, and an overhang that is a little under five feet above the ground. Now try to dig out the little bush, and its thick, persistent roots.
I managed to get it, and a different bush, standing free in the yard, but the getting explains why I woke up this morning with sore knees and hands, and a longing to stay in bed. I am not a plant guy; otherwise, I would give you the names of the bushes, maybe even in Latin. In addition, I am only intermittently a yard guy. But I got out the bush, and later today expect to tackle two others in the same situation, and then will congratulate myself on a job done -- if not well done.
And then, Monday morning, I will count my aches and long to stay in bed again.
But these are getting-things-in-order days. Yesterday morning, for example, while my younger son took his SATs at UA, I went to my nearby newspaper office and dug through the accumulated trash on, under and around my desk. Bag after bag was filled, but now I can see both the floor below the desk and the top of most of it. The effort was not without melancholy, especially when I came across a series of copies of Channels, our Sunday TV supplement, spread over several years of sad, diminishing change. Still, like the empty spots where the bushes were, I can look at the clearing around my desk and feel that something got done.
With those and other chores, what hasn't gotten done much is watching TV. Today includes church and grocery shopping. There will be some viewing today, when the Cleveland Cavaliers play, and tonight, with ''The Sopranos'' and ''Grey's Anatomy'' on deck, but the only shows we've watched in toto since Friday are ''Gilmore Girls'' from Tuesday and an episode of ''My Super Sweet 16.' The DVRs whimper from their load.
The bride had never seen ''My Super Sweet 16,'' and I had only recently gotten around to watching it (even though a co-worker had long and repeatedly urged me to do so). It was appalling, of course, and treated self-indulgence as a common character trait, but if you've seen the show (or even read much about it) you know those things. You may also recognize the current of class warfare in it, especially when it comes to the distribution of invitations to these overblown parties -- groups of students divided into haves and have-nots based on whether they get to see a spoiled brat's display of excess. But I keep wanting to watch more, and when I figure out exactly why, I will post more here.
As for ''Gilmore,'' I just don't like the direction it is taking. The whole buying-a-house thing should have been obvious to Lorelai back when she first learned Richard and Emily were home-shopping. Her inaction regarding her issues with Luke is unbearable, and in some ways atypical.
One of Lorelai's great moments in the show involved her dealing with Rory's friends over misdeeds -- coming down on them hard, and maternally, and reminding us that Lorelai is not only smart but tough, someone who took made a living and raised a daughter in difficult circumstances, without bitterness or self-pity. That Lorelai would have turned to Luke long ago and said, ''What's the deal with your daughter?'' and ''When exactly are we going to get married?'' This Lorelai has gone soft. I want the old one back.