Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We arrived at the home of Otterbutt and The Photographer (I don't know what to call him...does he have a blog name?). They plied us with beer and delicious fish tacos (so yummy!). Let me just tell you, it is much cooler here than at home, and also where we are going next. We had to have blankets on the bed!
I'm drinking delicious french press coffee, then I need to eat something so I can go for a run. Later we'll go for a hike.
Aah, vacation.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Basking in New Patio-ness

Yesterday we finished the patio, so today we bask. This included running all kinds of heat-induced errands, such as swimsuit shopping (all the good ones are gone, just ask the Australian at Pool-N-Patio), water bottle acquirement, snacks-for-the-car shopping (chocolate silk, pretzels, salad, animal cookies, celery, eggs), then returning home to sit in front of the A/C and surf the internets.
That done, I took all the vegetables from the fridge and either threw them away or cooked them. Must be done. Now, Middlebrow just has to drink all the remaining beer, which means packing should be fun. We'll either end up with no underwear or all underwear or a weird mix of shorts and shirts that don't match. Oh well, it's only Sedona. No one will notice. They'll be too busy getting blissed out in the harmonic convergence.
I'm looking forward to seeing my family, Son having playmates for a week, practicing my pull ups and double unders, drinking some cocktails, swimming in cold water and relaxing.
The final vacation.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Read This!

My title refers (sort of) to this book I'm obsessed with: Born to Run. But it also refers to this blog post.
Sometimes I think I'm talking into a void. Also, I think, "why blog?" It seems self-indulgent and narcissistic.
But then my friend posts this: "I prefer blogs that read like a journal where every petty detail of their lives are revealed." But his blog is intellectual and insightful, a mash-up of a personal essay and poetic theory. His blog is not petty.
But his post made me feel like it's okay to just blog whatever, I don't need a theme or an insight I can just say, here's what happened today people.
So, we're nearly done with the patio project, and I will post pictures, eventually. We put some sand on the part that is finished and (thank god!) it hides our imperfections. I wish I could cover myself with sand.
I decided that my experimental, obsessive novel needs to be a mystery with a chronological plot. Back to the drawing board. But I already have an idea for the second novel in this series with my thirty-something female main character. If I can't be literary, at least I can sell out. Maybe. I'll let you know how that goes.
I'm obsessed with the running book and now feel like what I need to do is run more. Right. I'll let you know how that goes. But the book is awesome, and even if you don't like running, it actually has a great plot and the information in it is super fascinating. It's inspiring.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts I Had While Moving Rocks Today

Does this stone look like Maine?
Here's Massachusetts, but without Cape Cod. This one is Michigan. Wouldn't it be easier to make a patio if it was just a puzzle of the U.S. and then all we had to do was fit the stones back together?
This stone is shaped like Rhode Island and is the same size as Rhode Island.
Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska.
Why did we make a big pile of dirt there? It needs to be moved.
Why did I get a PhD in English instead of learning a trade?
If a Humanities degree was a tool, what kind of tool would it be? (my guess: rubber mallet)
I'm hot.
Is it snack time?
Am I pretty?
This stone looks like Maine.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I miss Cromwell News

When I was in London, I frequented a small shop called Cromwell News. It was right next door to our hostel. The water was cold, if over priced, and it was open late.
But that's not why I loved it or why I miss it now. I miss it because of the man who worked there. He always smiled and his eyes sparkled in the most cliched way possible. He always asked me questions about how I was and what I was doing. I never asked his name, but he made my time in London better, because I knew he would always smile at me. I wondered if it was just me, or if he smiled at everyone. He did smile at everyone, but sometimes when I walked past the shop, not going in, but on my way somewhere, he would see me and raise his eyebrows in greeting and smile.
On the day before my last day in London, I asked him why he was always so happy. I didn't fully understand his answer (he was from London, but he was Indian), but the upshot was: you have to make yourself happy. I think he said, "There's a war out there" and it was clear he wasn't specifically talking about Iraq or Afghanistan, but the world in general. "You can't let it get to you," he said.
Here was a guy with a fairly boring job (standing or sitting in a fairly small shop, selling postcards and water and souvenirs) and he just seemed to be blissful, in the true meaning of the word.
He said he wanted to go back to India, eventually, but he was content for now. No, not content, happy.
When we got up on Sunday to leave, Cromwell News was not yet open. I never told him good-bye, but I really, really liked him.
I hope I never forget the way his eyes smiled.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contemplations for July

  1. What is happiness?
  2. Is happiness having only 39 days of summer vacation left? Or having a whole 39 days of vacation left!
  3. Is happiness the difference between a question mark and an exclamation point?!
  4. Is happiness a certain beverage?
  5. Is happiness box wine?
  6. What is suffering?
  7. Is suffering the patio project?
  8. Does suffering involve digging?
  9. Can suffering be solved by certain beverages?
  10. What is the relationship between happiness, suffering and box wine?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The complete album of digging photos

The Digging Project

Here's me, about to start digging. Why dig? I am asking myself. It is a deep philosophical question.

The beginnings of The Hole. The hose marks the edge of the space we need to clear. Oh woe is us.

Middlebrow working his magic with the shovel. Note how Gus is "helping" by smelling stuff and chasing butterfly shadows through The Hole.

The gorgeous radishes I got from Hightouch's CSA. The Mexican zucchinni and the yellow squash I bought. We roasted them and ate them. Delicious!
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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Things I am Doing Well this Summer

  1. Exercising
  2. Eating
  3. Drinking various beverages including: water, coffee, wine, Pimms
  4. Sitting around
  5. Surfing the internets