Posts Tagged Summer
I have to admit that I’m a little taken aback by the remarkably temperate weather currently favoring us here in eastern midwest, or whatever largely inaccurate geographic designation is current in use for the Ohio valley. Regardless, it’s like, cool, you know? As if maybe fall this year isn’t only going to be this 10-day period of moderate temperatures in early November bookended by an “Indian Summer” notable for the heat of a thousand suns and the arrival of pre-winter bringing with it the bleak bone-chilling cold of a Kardashian heart.
Indeed, it’s a reminder that although summer technically has another 10 or so days to hang on, Labor Day has come and gone, all the kids are back in school, and it’s time for my white capri pants to go back into winter storage.
That also makes it a pretty good time to reflect on the events of the summer, which got me thinking about our family vacation to the beach this year. It was a good trip, and I hope it gives the kids plenty of memories they’ll hold on to for years.
Of course, that’s not all it was. The trip was also an excuse for me to visit brewpubs in strange and foreign places. Places like Knoxville, Tennesee, home to the Downtown Grill and Brewery. If fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that of the three beer-related locations we visited this summer, it was definitely my favorite.
Because I’m am not much with the Captain Subtlety, I hope that by now you’ve all hipped to the realization that this is obviously all just rambles and meanders leading up to the part where I link to a newly published Hoperatives post by yours truly.
Yeah, this is that link. Go read about Downtown Grill and Brewery, because it’s a place you should want to visit someday. Also, check out a completely new set of poorly photographed pictures.
There will be nachos, I promise.
Happy Labor Day, US-based friends and neighbors. I hope those of you with the opportunity to spend the day relaxing and basically not making with the laborations are making the most of it. You know, perhaps with a hammock and a cool beverage sporting one of those cheap paper umbrellas.
That said, it’s time for Weekend Debate. While clearly I understand that it’s Monday, you know, technically, I figured that since today’s the last of the three-day weekend for many of us, that’s good enough for me.
Besides, it’s not like the Weekend Debate was chartered with a set of bylaws or anything.
I recommend anyone interested in arguing that issue submit an appeal to the Worldwide Internet Blog Council. And after that, perhaps file a grievance with Santa Claus.
With that all settled, let’s get back to the point: namely, that it’s Labor Day. For many people, Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer and the start of the dread march towards The Holidays. Sure, summer won’t officially come to a close until later this month, and odds are pretty good that we won’t see any temperate fall-like weather until weeks after that.
Still, the closing of pools and the start of school, both primary and university, is enough to make all the beach-happy sun-worshippers out there cry the dull solitary tears of rodeo clowns.
If you ask me though, it doesn’t come a moment too soon. Sure, summer is nice when it first rolls in with it’s warm sunshine and vacations. But eventually it ends up a hot, humid mess that I’m quite happy to show the door. In fact, I’d be positively giddy to have two or three months of 60-70 degree temps from now until December 1. But no, we’ll get about a week or ten days of fall-like weather a week before Thanksgiving, and then it’ll turn cold enough to freeze the hate out of a political pundit.
It’ makes me sad, I tell ya. Because fall is awesome. It’s clearly the best of the four seasons.
What do you say about that?
What’s the best season of the year?
Look! A Poll!
Hope everyone has a great holiday and an awesome week after that!
Since it’s Friday and all of us are completely giddy over the prospect of frolicking gaily through a three-day weekend that semi-officially brings summer to a close, I wanted to make sure I had an appropriate topic to ramble on about today. Maybe recount the summer’s adventures or tell funny stories from our vacation. You know, wrap it up with a good yarn about searing my ever-more defenseless scalp to a crispy golden brown.
Yeah, I got nuthin. Summer’s hot, it’s been dry, and I’m looking forward to fall. So, hey, summer, hit the road. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!
That said, let’s instead discuss something that’s of interest to me and, well, probably nobody else: desk chairs. Specifically, mine.
I recently decided it was time for a new chair at the office. Now, some might argue that the deficiencies with the existing perch were possibly the result of inheriting my chair-sitting posture from my father, a man known far and wide for propping one leg over the arm of his recliner and knocking a full glass of iced tea to the floor with his foot.
Oh, sure, that could explain, maybe, the quite-evident sideways lean in my current desk seat and the worn place on the seat fabric where a shoe, um, possibly might have been placed when the occupant happened to sit, somewhat regularly, with a foot beneath him.
Obviously none of that is my fault. I’ve totally only ever occupied my office chair in a completely OSHA-approved manner, with the conscious and deliberate intent of sitting as ergonomically as possible. Certainly no one’s ever happened upon me in my natural “software engineer” habitat and remarked that if I slanted any farther to the side, I’d upend the entire chair.
Fine, then. Perhaps I am a smidge culpable here. But, really, the problem with the chair wasn’t it’s age or it’s intractable lean to the left. Nope, the key issue with it actually was that as a man stalking closer to a certain age, my lower back has apparently had quite enough of unsupportive pieces of furniture. Indeed, it was time for the dread lumbar support.
Luckily, I’m not the type that moans and complains often, and I rarely ask for much of anything besides lunch professionally. Also because my employer is awesome, so when I requested a new chair it was effectively rubber-stamped.
And thus came, The Hard Part.
See, I was kind of expecting to be handed a list of four or five options and told to pick one. But no. Ohhhh, no. Instead, a coworker delivered an office supply catalog roughly the size and weight of a classic VW Beetle to my office (I’m pretty sure we had to contract a teamster with a forklift to accomplish the feat) and told me to go through it and pick one out.
Ok, fine, I thought. Really, people need lots of thing to run an office. Surely most of this was fancy notebooks and whatnot right? Uh….wrong!
As you can imagine, after painstakingly searching, browsing, and identifying the features, size, and price of each chair available, I felt like Malcolm McDowell’s character from “A Clockwork Orange” strapped down with eyes forced open while being subjected to reprogramming. Luckily, I was eventually able to narrow my options down to a reasonably-sized list before finally settling on My Final Choice.
Which arrived today! Happy Friday to me! See?
Of course, now I just have to figure out how to get it adjusted correctly. I mean, look at all those levers!
Anyway, happy Friday to all you out there too. Have a great holiday weekend, if you work in the US, or, uh, just a great weekend in general, then, if you don’t. Take it easy and enjoy sending summer on it’s merry way.
So, I’m still, you know, whatever, or lazy, something. So, I figured why no continue the “Day in Pictures” theme? I mean, it’s easy to take pictures that mostly no one will care about but me, and even easier to post them to a blog. So, yeah, it’s money.
I thought this guy was pretty cool. Way cooler than that lazy MGM lion that’s just been laying around and growling for more than half a century. Come to think of it, I think I need a pair of these to flank my driveway. Because nothing would say, “Welcome to La Casa de Puddin, enjoy your stay under our protection, but don’t touch the friggin’ silver” like the King of the Jungle standing guard in the suburbs.
A pair of towels and a child’s swim vest drying in the afternoon sun. Which is a lot of words to simply say, “summer.”
Sir Feasts-in-the-corner just hopes the Queen will relent and let him out of the “Punishment Corner of Shame” before the pheasant course is served. He always loved the pheasant most, and if he’d known Her Grace would have taken such umbrage at the remark about her knickers, he’d have thought twice about it.
It wouldn’t be a day-in-pictures without nachos. And look, these haven’t been eaten yet! Oh! Hai, tasty, tasty jalapenos! Get in mah Belly!
Good work, jalapenos. Top marks for following directions. Cleary these nachos were terrible. So terrible they could not be allowed to exist in a big pile. Separating them—via consumption—seemed the only reasonable choice.
You can’t tell from the picture, but this statue of lady Liberty is a glass mosaic. I couldn’t help but be a little struck by seeing liberty represented by something shiny, beautiful (shut up, it is NOT gawdy) and incredibly fragile.
And that’s enough picture-based nonsense for me.
It’s a miracle, I tell ya, a datgummed miracle! I never thought I would see the day dawn, but here we are: tonight, after my rush-hour traffic commute, I get to stay home.
Let’s all say that again, together. I. Get. To. Stay. Home.
No baseball games.
No dance classes.
No Scout meetings.
No Hunger Games-style Reaping to attend.
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Tonight I get to enjoy dinner with my family and then afterward, go absolutely no where for any reason.
I might even put on my slippers and my smoking jacket.
One might think my enthusiasm for doing, well, nothing might be a tad misplaced, or at the very least overzealous. Oh, it’s not, I tell you, it’s so very not.
For some reason, I thought that when school let out, the nearly daily requirement that our evening be directed at some sort of external endeavor might be replaced with some sort of pleasant summer ritual. Like, enjoying a cold beer on my porch while listing to the Cincinnati Reds on the radio while the sun crept toward the horizon.
Yes, I realize I have neither a sittin’ porch at the moment nor an outdoor radio, but, just…hush. I’d have worked around that somehow.
Instead, it seems that just about every evening of early summer, the part I like to consider the Firefly Nights, will instead be dedicated to taxiing (not, by the way, at all the same thing as “taxing”, which is what I wrote first) children to and from various and sundry activities.
That’s not to suggest, though, that I begrudge them their fun. What would a life be without childhood memories of little league baseball in June, etc? I’m pretty sure that’s how you get evil, crazy dudes like Dexter, Charles Manson, and Simon Cowell. You need summertime stuff as a kid.
Image via Wikipedia.org
Especially the baseball. Baseball makes everything better.
Don’t believe me? Seriously, think about this: how much better would The Phantom Menace have been if it had dropped all that Trade Federation nonsense and played out like Mighty Anakin at the Bat? And yes, even overlooking the fact that the poor kid playing young Luke’s father was slightly more wooden than Howdy Doody. Hell, and even if Lucas still really had to have Jar Jar, he could have been the opposing team’s error-prone outfielder that trips over his remarkably big ears in the bottom of the ninth, allowing Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and the kid to score for the big unlikely, come-from-behind win.
Darth Los Muerte or whatever his name was – you know, with the horns and the devil face paint – clearly would have been the opposing (losing) pitcher. And then, instead of shaking hands after the game, everyone (of course) would pick up a bat and you’d have light saber duels with them just like the kids have always done to the consternation of coaches everywhere.
Ahem. Anyway, even as awesome as baseball is, especially to a kid, my point is that tonight, nothing and/or no one is going to ruin my leisurely staying-at-home.
Not even Darth La Mancha.
I have a bit of a confession: I didn’t write anything yesterday. I shouldn’t be terribly happy about that, because I try very hard to Write Something Every Day*. It’s like, one of a handful of real rules I attempt to live by on a daily basis. That list includes, but is not limited to, Don’t be the Drunk and/or Angry Asshole Dad at a Little League Game, and, of course, Your Junk Is NOT For Public Display, Ever.
Maybe some day I’ll share the whole list. It’s mostly common sense stuff that, based on the evening news these days, apparently isn’t always so common anymore.
Anyway, so I didn’t do any writing yesterday, and I totally should have because it was Monday. But it wasn’t just Monday. It was Memorial Day, and as we all know, Memorial Day marks the officially start of Pool and/or Grilling Season.
I suppose some might consider it the official start of summer, too, but as 3 of my 4 children are a bit too quick to point out, it isn’t really summer until later this month. Whether or not that argument has any merit is another post.
Incidentally, I am apparently raising a brood of children who revel in the irritating expression of semantics. I take consolation from the thought that while it makes them occasionally obnoxious to each other, twenty years from now I’ll have either offspring writing a David E. Kelley TV legal dramedy or lawyers in the family to defend me when I finally snap and start spraying neighborhood kids with a high-pressure water hose for riding their Huffys** across my crabgrass-laden yard.
At any rate, yesterday was Monday and I didn’t do any writing. And I should have. I have not one, but two books to work on, and not one, but two blogs I might have written for, and not one, but two Rainbow Brite fan-fiction novellas half-written.
Ahem. Um, yeah. Can we forget I said that last part?
Then again, yesterday was also a holiday. Yes, I realize that the life of a professional writer can lead to times where you have to work regardless of what the calendar says, whether the pool’s open or not, or who’s getting together for a cornucopia of cold beers and grilled meats. The fact of the matter, though, is that today, right now, I’m only an aspiring professional writer. And while that certainly isn’t ideal—my time will come, oh, yes, my time will come—it does have one or two minor benefits. Deciding to take off the occasional holiday, because, well, I can, is one of them, and so I’m not going to sweat it.
I mean, I did sweat; it was over 90 degrees yesterday, but that’s neither here nor there.
The point is that we all tend to focus on achieving that next goal, taking that next step, and chasing that moment of arrival when all our dreams come true. While that’s important—crucial, even—it can also be a little short-sighted.
Sometimes, reaching for that moment means missing out on this moment. Don’t let that happen.
Sometimes you have to play hooky, even if it means playing it from yourself.
*The caveat there is that I do generally not write on Sunday. Not because I’m a crazy zealot or anything, but because I tend to believe that one day out of seven for family and just imagining/thinking rather than actually writing is good for both the soul and one’s scribbly output. It works for me.
**What do you mean, no one has a Huffy anymore? Back in my day, we ALLLLL had Huffys!