I made an entry last night while I was connected wirelessly to my ipod touch. It disappeared. It took a long time to write anything of significance on that thing, one finger at a time. But it disappeared into the ether. Too bad, it was super important. And insightful. And quotable. That is what I was writing about, being quoted. I guess that won’t happen now. Whatever. The ether can have it. The world is fleeting and all that. I can add a powerful and emotion laden entry any old time. And I’ll do it, too.
It’s back to work time for this boy. No more lounging away the summer days on a ladder with a paint can in one hand and a brush in the other and beads of sweat dripping into the eyes one can’t wipe clear because of the protective rubber gloves. No more happy encounters with cucumber beetles who wish to share their produce with those who live inside the house. Alas, it is back to Excel spreadsheets and phone calls and eventually, talking with students about their promising futures. Starting yesterday, my brain had to rev up like a DVD just inserted into its cozy drive. I think it is still spinning.
I did not break a sweat as I prepared for the upcoming academic year. I went to meetings. Sometimes I break a sweat at meetings because I have to present or I have to be responsible for enough that my armpits drip. Nervousness they tell me. My friend Spike refers to that as squirreling. No squirreling today. I didn’t even break a sweat when I blasted out the house for a quick bike ride before prepping dinner. It was raining.
Did I mention dinner? I baked up a summer vegetable gratin again. I had to wait a couple of days from gathering all the ingredients as we had family engagements the past two evenings (last night we posed for family photos–it’s nice to have someone just tell me where to stand once in a while). Think fresh tomatoes, three kinds of summer squash, potatoes dug up just two days ago, parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. All baked together into a bubbling and steaming delight. Two words: Ooh baby. My daughter ate it. My son would not. We fed him oatmeal.
This job I’ve got means working at home, often evenings, sometimes weekends. Already I am thinking about what I might get done as my spouse tucks the children into bed. I resisted actually doing anything so foolhardy this evening, however. Instead I read about ten interesting deserts (one in Brazil is littered with lagoons when it rains) and a list of weird allergies (people really can be allergic to water, apparently. And sex.). Then I decided to bust out the old blog and get cracking.
I hung out with a friend recently who said that she never reads blogs because all they are is a bunch of people boring anyone who happens to stumble across them with repeated fannings over their boyfriends or overly detailed descriptions of their new puppies foibles. I tried to tell her she might be able to find something that caters to her sense of humor or to her modern and refined wit, but she was skeptical. Certainly I wasn’t going to point her here.
Did I tell you about my new puppy? My sister-in-law’s kids are so in love with it. And the way it wiggles its little hiney. SO cute!
Anyway, summer is still here. It is in the 80’s for Christopher’s sake. Two days ago it was 91 degrees and the air was pretty much saturated. It felt like Florida, where my electric bill would be like ten times what it is here in Vermont since I would pretty much be required to have an air conditioner running at all times. I did wish we had an extra fan the other night. We let the children use them and just sweated into the sheets. Now I have to wear pants in this heat. I just can’t bring myself to wear shorts at a school. Maybe I should when it gets this hot, however. But what difference would it make? I will either distract students with my balding pate glistening with rills of sweat, or I will distract them with my Discobolos-like calves.
I can’t win. Not in this heat.
When I started this blog on WordPress it was because I had a blog elsewhere and decided to get a little more serious. A few years ago I heard about this new social networking site for folks with an environmental/human rights/do the right thing in the world bent and it seemed as good a place as any to explore the world of blogging. It served me well for a while but I needed a change.
I still have an account on the site (you can see it here) and I occasionally check it. On a whim I typed “UFO” into the search tool and learned that, apparently, there was a UFO at Obama’s inauguration. Whoda thunk? There was a whole discussion around this event. If I only checked my account more frequently I might have a part of that important online communication. Too bad for me.
Here is at least one of the version of the video:
I recently discovered a Vermont blog that has some appeal to me. The View From the Last House in America claims to offer up “one life, lived in Vermont, and oddments.” Sounds good to me. That actually sounds about like what I’ve got here. Two posts on the site caught my attention.
One was called Who Cares What You Think? This seems a reasonable question to me. If you are going to write something that any random monkey can find, at least entertain the monkey. It is the question for anyone who cares to blog. I would love it if someone thought what I put down here interesting and worth musing over. Heck, I need affirmation as much as the next guy. But it ought to be interesting and not just pretend to be interesting. So that is my renewed challenge: to avoid proffering up tripe.
The second thing that I found interesting was a post about Seven Random Things. I like this idea. I was reading recently in Orion magazine an essay called Notes From a Very Small Island by Erik Reese. He talks about Nietzsche’s call for “an end of philosophy” and how we should really embrace art, especially poetry. He expounds on what this means to himself and I was struck by this sentence:
The true poem captures not just what is seen, but the experience of seeing. Poetry, we might say, is the aura thrown around an ordinary object to show that, in fact, it isn’t ordinary at all.
This captures well what I love about poetry. My favorite poems are about standing in line or shoveling snow or drinking beer on a porch. This idea of writing about seven random things really gets at the idea of poetry or, if one carries it back around, to philosophy. The question, if one takes on this challenge, is this: Can you find meaning in those objects and then share it in a way that has meaning to the reader? I like the idea. I’ll try it at some point.
And the third thing is this: it is snowing. The snow and rain and sleet and freezing rain (we may get all of them) might fall all night. Snow day tomorrow? I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand I get as excited as I did when I was ten when I think about school being canceled and a bonus day at home. On the other hand, it is a big old hassle to make up my meetings with students when school is closed. I don’t want to have to add a day, but I also would love to sit and watch the weather and drink some foamy coffee drink in my pajamas.
If tomorrow comes in with gray and slush and I don’t need to drive, then I will take on the seven random things challenge in the morning. If we have rain and school, then it will have to wait. In any case, even if you made it this far in this post you may still be wondering, enough to not at all consider reading the next one, Who Cares What You Think?