There is a time-honored back-to-school writing assignment that involves students writing a stilted essay about "What I Did During My Summer Vacation." Interestingly, I was never assigned this essay and I'm not sure how I missed it - probably the same way that I missed reading certain pieces of classic literature as part of the curriculum. (Really, the holes in my "what I've read" list are pretty appalling.) So since I'm wrapping up my summer vacation, I thought it might be interesting to sketch out what I might write about, in the event that I am assigned to do so.
Let's see . . .
Bechtler Museum. I hope to return soon.
2. I finished a frothy, brain-candy sort of book. The Temptation of the Night Jasmine is a perfect "beach read." Simple plot, easy to pick up and put down without getting muddled about who was doing what to whom. Still, not a re-read and I'll soon pack it up to go to the used book store for a credit. Speaking of which -
3. Picking up "new" used books at our secret stash store. Frank runs a combo used bookstore/movie rental joint down at the beach that we always hit. Seriously - we included a line item called "Frank's" on our honeymoon budget. Naturally, there are a lot of popular "beach read" paperbacks (Stephen King, J.D. Robb, etc.), but also some real gems, including some lovely leatherbounds. If you're ever vacationing in the upper end of the Grand Strand (aka the "Redneck Riviera"), drop by.
4. Movies! I caught up on two classics - I hadn't seen Dr. Strangelove probably since my halcyon college days and I watched a Tracy/Hepburn I hadn't seen before. Desk Set is cute enough, but not a must-see. Fun office comedy about the early "computing machines" taking over the research department of some unnamed company. IBM is mentioned both prominently and often. Also saw Me and Orson Welles (excellent and be on the lookout for Christian McKay. Oh, Orson - how hard you were on those who loved you) and Inside Job, a documentary that will get you fired up about the Great Meltdown of 2008 and how business as usual continues to be business as usual.
5. Being fired up and all, I wrote my Congressional representative (who often behaves as an illogical troll, but I have hope) and both Senators urging them to consider the big picture on the debt ceiling mess. Just maybe it won't just be business as usual - and I raised my voice to make it known.
6. Starting Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and getting some solid ideas about how to become a little bit more of a "locavore." The Kingsolver family went hard-core, but smaller steps could be taken. (I'm toying with the idea of making cheese. Don't call me Heidi.) And did you know that Federal standards are stricter for tap water than they are for bottled? Hmmm.
8. Eating lots and lots of tempting (read "junk") food during this last week. Yum, Krispy Kreme. Yum, ice cream. Repeat as needed. It's back to the "good stuff" tomorrow (which isn't bad at all - I refuse to do some wacky diet of twigs and grubs), but it's been great fun to be off my leash for a bit.
9. Seeing the pack after being away for a few days. Spooky and Pip continue to get along beautifully, to the point of Spooky settling herself carefully down in her crate to avoid smushing the curled-up kitty who is contentedly snoring in the back of said crate.
10. Having Sunday brunch with my husband and mother-in-law. Usually it's just FryDaddy and Mom Squared, but this time I got to join in. It's lovely to be married into a family that you genuinely like and enjoy being around.
11. (Yes, this list goes to eleven. No exploding drummer, though, I promise) Finally seeing what all the fuss about Breaking Bad is about. Although I'm not caught up with the entire series (by a long shot!), I now better understand the buzz. The characters are three-dimensional (and that goes for both the so-called good guys and bad guys - it quite possibly may be the greyest show I've ever seen), the storylines are darkly plausible, and the filming itself deserves the word "cinematic." Check it out, if you haven't already - but make sure the kiddies are safely in bed.
It really was relaxing, although you might not think so after reading that list! Back into the breach tomorrow!