1. Summer School Update. My son finished his quarter-credit of Intermediate Algebra just fine. The mystery of it all: what makes math in summer school so much more do-able? Superior instructional design? More attractive, portable classroom accomodations? No formal instruction--just packets and your questions answered upon request? Fear that you won't be eligible to run cross country?
2. Another Job I Would Like To Have, and Might Be Qualified For. Personal chef.
3. Rental Car Upgrade. Once, when I was in Georgia visiting my kids who were living with their dad for a few months, I got a midnight upgrade from a mid-size to a convertible. It ended up as the equivalent of Disneyland in car form. The following story isn't quite as good as the convertible: as a result of the insane car mishaps we have undergone as a family, we decided to rent an economy car for the weeks prior to my daughter heading off to college (where she will have no car). So I got online, found a reasonably good deal, stopped off at the car rental counter at the airport when I got back from my reunion, signed the contract, and headed off to the lot. I handed over the paperwork, the woman checked it, handed me a key and said, "It's in slot 28." But there was an SUVehicle in slot 28--a Jeep Laredo, to be exact. I marched right back in and said, "But I rented an economy car!" She checked my paperwork again and said, "Oh yes, she was able to give you the upgrade!" As if I had requested an upgrade, and as if I wanted to drive an SUVehicle. Which is precisely what I'm doing, and I admit it's kind of cool. My son, as I was driving him to his last day of summer school, said, "So Mom, do you feel in charge when you're driving this car?" And I admit, I kind of do. I also realize that every second I'm in it, I feel like explaining to everyone--to people I don't know--that this isn't my car, it's just a rental, they upgraded it without asking me, no way in the world would I buy this car. On August 21, back to the rental people it goes, and I will return to driving the early nineties Chevy we bought after one of the wrecks, and which my daughter is driving now. I will be driving this car, that is, if she doesn't wreck it before she goes to college. Pray for us all.
4. Sublimely Beautiful Bamboo Floor. Wait for your invitation to the floor-warming in a few weeks.
5. The Bacon Exception. I've been a vegetarian, with some lapses, for most of my adult life. I also make exceptions. I eat some fish from time to time, and I'm not a vegan, though I try to take great care with any animal products I buy/eat. There are all kinds of rules to govern this consumption: organic dairy only, eggs with all the qualifiers (free-range, organic-fed, etc.). Only wild salmon from a vendor I trust, and then only in season. Despite all of this, I have never lost my taste--or, probably more precisely, my nose--for meat. At the farmer's market, on the corner of the square, someone grills meat for carne asada tacos. Occasionally, at Christmas, for instance, I will make some grand meaty dish, and I usually have a taste. The most insidious smell of all, however, is bacon. There are lots of reasons not to eat pork, which I won't detail here. But bacon smells sublime. Occasionally, therefore, I make a bacon exception. In San Francisco, for instance, I ate at a French bistro where I had the most wonderful salmon in a red wine reduction, which also included lardons of bacon. As the waiter said, "that sauce [pronounced sose] is delicious [pronounce each syllable separately, French-style]." And he was right. Today, in Wild Oats, at the meat counter, they had slices of a superb bacon fried up, rolled up, speared with toothpicks, under the heat lamp. I made the bacon exception today. Twice.