Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I did this summer

1. Ate lots of peaches. I wish they grew locally, but they don't. In early summer, they come from California (meh). In June and July, they come from Georgia (mmm). In August, they come first from Missouri and Illinois (mmmmmmmmm). About now, they come from Michigan and Colorado (can't talk- eating).

2. Read some books. Le Carre's "Single & Single," Russo's "Empire Falls," and Pelecanos's "Shame the Devil." Quit on De Lillo's "Falling Man." I can't seem to stay focused unless there's a lot of "Then what happened?" moments to hold my attention. It's a shame, I guess, that I've lost my attention span for Serious Literature; on the other hand, it's nice to be reading something: I think there was a period of maybe five years where I couldn't read anything longer than the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces.

3. Listened to some audio books. Black's "Silver Swan," and Fforde's "Eyre Affair."

4. Peed-- lots. Summer ain't summer without a gin and tonic or a nice hoppy ale, but what goes in also comes out. Despite the Interstim, and even at work (where I generally stay away from booze), it feels like I've had to make an inordinate number of express trips to the WC (leaking most of the way and staggering like a sailor on shore leave) and changed an inordinate number of pads.

5. Bought a new car. After the Prizm was totalled, we spent a couple months or so looking for a similar cheap, efficient used car, only to find $4 gas had made that kind of car far too expensive. Example: we almost bought a 2001 Toyota Echo. Nice enough car, great mileage, possibly even less fun to drive than the Prizm, but $6000 for a 7 or 8 year-old car with 107,000 miles on the clock? Eventually bought a new 2008 Civic sedan. With tax, it was pretty close to $20,000, but in my book it's at least 5 times as much car as a 2001 Echo that's already been driven 107,000 miles.

I'd initially been thinking we'd get a Civic with an automatic tranny, but in the course of looking at used cars, we drive a sporty little Mazda Protege 5 with a stick. Wasn't interested in the car--not great gas-wise--but we both found we liked driving a stick. I'd kinda given up on a manual after driving one in heavy stop-and-go traffic left me rubber-legged, but I figure I can drive the car with the automatic in situations where I'm likely to get stuck in stop-an-go traffic. Frinstance, getting to work after a blizzard. We had a couple of those last winter, and it took me about an hour to drive what is usually a 15-minute commute. Let's just say the sporty stick-shift is a good motivator for doing one's PT exercises on a regular basis.

6. Blushed, or maybe flushed. For some reason, I seem to have developed a tendency to develop, from time to time, a hot, red, right ear. It's happened a couple times a week or so, and it doesn't seem to be connected to any particular trigger. Last week it happened (1) while eating really good pizza and (2) after reading a short prayer at my kid brother's bar mitzvah. I asked my neurologist if it might be MS-related. His response: "Maybe. Pretty much anything can be MS-related, because your brain pretty much controls everything."

7. Nothing. At work and at home, I've had less to do this summer. At work, because of the cyclical nature of my job, I had lots of time when I didn't have work on my plate. At home, with Carmen not working or going to school, I found myself with more time when I had (or at least felt like I had) no pressing household duties. More free time means more time for naps, crosswords, books, dogs, meditation, sex, and other fun things. I'm hoping I haven't developed lazy habits I won't be able to break once things get busier. Caryn starts classes again tonite, and work has been starting to heat up a little bit lately.

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