Monday, August 31, 2015

A turn in the weather.

It could certainly get hot again. In fact, I'd actually put money on the fact that it will, it will get hot again. But a decided cooling--by almost ten degrees, I think--makes such a noticeable difference that it feels like change, big change, the kind that signals something turning.

Last night, when we stepped out of my daughter's house in the evening, the sun hurtling toward the horizon as it does at the very most fiery end of the day, we all paused to notice the drama happening over there in the west. I thought about--and said--how beautiful the skies seem to get this time of year. The big billowy clouds. The sun rising and setting when we're getting up and getting home. Splashy, living for the moment. That's the light I'm talking about. The light is seizing the day.

Today, when I was driving from here to there, I noticed some new trees that had been recently planted on some high berm, marking the up-there freeway from its down-there offramp. They were perfectly oval, and cast lengthening oval shadows in a row. There wasn't time to look--I was getting off a freeway--but I felt some twinge that I couldn't see it properly. I wanted to fix it in my sight, in my memory. My imagined world.

I'm feeling the crush of not enough time. It's both a practical and an existential state. But I am loving what there's time to see, to do, to feel, right now while there's still lots of light and the really interesting shadows are getting ready to do their beginning and end of the day stretches. I hope to keep my eyes open.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Oh, hey, it's my birthday,

--so last night we ate dinner with Anna and Matt, and this morning we ate pancakes and I opened presents and washed the sheets and went to (birthday) church with my son and graded a little and ate delicious tacos with my kids and chatted to all the children hither and yon--Amelia and Miriam and Evie and Eli and Isaac and Lesley and Will and Van and Mitch and Supriya--and my parents and my niece and so forth, and ate some cake my daughter Sophia baked--it was pink with strawberries, fyi--and just took a walk with Bruiser in the cool night air, nbd. And also I have social engagements forthcoming with Ann and my parents and my auntie!

Am I older? I guess I am. Doesn't much feel like it matters, though. I feel good. I feel lucky for that, and grateful besides.

thanks for the picture, Sophia!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

At the farmer's market we discuss tattoos.

Just now, reading this post by my friend Ann reminded me that the historian and I had a little discussion at the farmer's market this morning:

(Passing the henna stall:)

Me: If we wanted, we could get henna.

The historian: How long does it last, do you know?

Me: I don't, really.

The historian: Maybe two weeks? I thought the henna April did for Supriya was...

Me: beautiful!

The historian: --yes. Amazing.

We walk on.

The historian: I've been thinking I could get a tattoo.

Me: (What!? Mind entirely blown.) ...I saw a post somewhere of super tiny tattoos that I thought were kind of cool. Like a little crescent moon right here (pointing behind my ear). Or, like, five tiny stars scattered across (sweeping gesture across clavicle).

Historian: (flexes bicep)(for real) I was thinking right here.

Me: Oh!

Historian: --like, maybe, a hammer and sickle. (considers:) Or Karl Marx!

Me: (whoa.) (pause:) Well, solidarity.  

--and off we went, to buy peaches, peppers, and corn.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Today in ten good things.

1. Waking up to a beautiful morning. Opening our bedroom door so Bruiser could hop up on the bed.
2. Thinking, when I woke up, maybe I'll take a rest day, because I felt sore, but as the day wore on, thinking, nope, I'm gonna do another two-a-day. And doing it.
3. Knowing from the moment I sat down to eat my Frosted Mini-Wheats that we were going to see a movie later in the evening.
4. Getting to talk to my smart colleagues about exciting things.
5. Thinking with Charlotte about making the Publication Center* a micro-press. (OH YES it is happeninnnnnngggg)

< I will pause, so that you may reflect**. >

6. Eating a surprisingly delicious lunch in the Student Center.
7. Visiting with friends before whisking off to the movie.
8. A very good movie, a comedy, that had the grand advantage of being a perfect length.
9. A big big moon.
10. Thinking about going to the farmer's market tomorrow!

BONUS ten things: Ten Things I Hope to See, Eat, and Buy at the Farmer's Market Tomorrow:

1. a huge croissant
2. peaches galore
3. tomatoes galore
4. basil galore
5. maybe some berries?
6. Mozdykuchen!
7. it's too soon for Asian pears, but maybe some asian pears.
8. ALLLLllll the garlic
9. all the things to make fattoush
10. eggs!

*don't judge this is about to get freaking amazing.

** I hope LK knows that every time I use the expression 'I will pause, so that you may reflect,' it is in homage to her.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Reading list (and a few comments on the beginning of the semester).

I will read any laudatory article about Serena Williams whatsoever. Because I love her. But this is a very good one.

Next year in Scotland... (thanks to my daughter for this one!)

Not that I am the sort to think real hard about the stock market, but 'The stock market is not the economy' seems like a good mantra.

Recommended by Nikwalk: this and this.

Written by Nicole Walker: this.

This gorgeousness.

I could never.

The people, my moods, they have been up and down and up and down and up again. Perhaps the splendor of our Scotland trip has ruined me for my regular life. At least for now. Or maybe I'm almost over it. I worked out twice today, as if I were a high school football boy and as if I were doing two-a-days. That's what I told myself: I'm doing two-a-days. I am surprised, and why should I be, by the fact that the mornings are a little darker and the evenings fall a little quicker. Yesterday when I was doing pull downs, I heard Pat Benatar singing 'We Belong,' and I felt really, really good. If I were a karaoke person, this might be my karaoke song. I can sing all the parts. I won't deny that I sang it a little bit while I was doing the weights. I am not sick of Beck, 'Wide Open,' not one little bit. Tonight I had dinner with two colleagues, and we ate all manner of good things and sat on the patio and laughed while we ate. I came home and did one last orientation with online students who may or may not themselves be feeling dubious about the beginning of the new semester.

Fact: starting the new semester is an up and down and up and down and up again proposition.


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