»I've been in Vermont for 24 hours. So far: 1 evening rainstorm, 1 wooded trail, 2 lakefront beaches, 2 walks downtown, 1 cup of homegrown tomatoes, 1 pint of local blueberries, and a whole lot of butterfat.
»You know what's even more fun than a three-hour layover? A three-hour layover during which the gate alarms get tripped every five minutes. Every five minutes for three hours.
»Headed downtown tonight for a chamber concert at the art museum. It's where all the cool kids hang. No, really: the air conditioning is excellent.
»Watched The Big Sleep last night in honor of Lauren Bacall. I miss her already.
»Packing for my annual month-long trip back east and trying to remember what I wear when I'm not in danger of heatstroke.
»Whatever you're doing, stop it and go see "Boyhood." Right now. Shoo.
»It's only 104 today and that's nice except I'm pretty sure normal people don't have to put "only" in front of "104."
»I'm reading "Lord of the Rings" for the first time and Ryan has forbidden me to discuss it with him, lest I retroactively ruin his childhood.
»I shop a lot at consignment stores and I'm glad that people wash clothes before they sell them, but I've got to say: America? You use stinky laundry detergent.
»Small pleasures: feeling peckish for a sweet treat and remembering that there's homemade cherry ice cream in the freezer.
»It is 3 p.m. and 116 degrees. I just walked out the door and was incinerated on the spot. My empty, charred husk is all that's left.
»My friend A. just texted me a photo of her car's dashboard thermometer (outdoor temp: 113) and the existential question: "Why aren't we still in Colorado?"
»White peaches are nothing but a cruel tease. So close, and yet not at all satisfying.
»Forecasted high for the next two days is 112. Why do I even look?
»Me, at hair salon for trim: "I'm liking this longer length, let's keep it and just clean up the ends." Stylist: "Sure!"
Proceeds to whack off three inches.
»Operation Whip Through Classic Literature has run into a snag and that snag is named Great Expectations. Less of a snag and more of a doorstop, really.
»Fridge is stocked, dishes are washed, floors are mopped, bathroom is sparkling, and I am blowing off all other adult responsibilities for the rest of the weekend. Because they are boring.
»A tip for the guy chatting with me at the brewpub: If you need to begin a sentence with "I know you're married, but..." JUST STOP TALKING.
»My sister sent me a Toast article about books people hate. Random sampling from my list: The Giving Tree, The Fountainhead, House of Sand and Fog, and all novels by Cormac McCarthy whether I've read them or not.
»I don't feel well this afternoon and I'm trying to decide if gin and tonic is a legitimate medical treatment. Leaning toward yes.
»Watched "My Dinner with Andre" last night. I'd never seen it before, but I had pretty much the same conversation about 200 times back when I was a theater major. Except the wine was cheaper.
»I made it halfway back home from my vacation before I started planning my next vacation. Please admire my restraint.
»My summer reading list is novels that I've somehow missed. Halfway through "Jane Eyre" right now and the wintry English countryside sounds pretty refreshing.
»Apricot jam on the stove and peach crumble in the oven. July is already too hot, but it has its charms.
»Puck—the little black cat—is sleeping on his back with all arms and legs splayed and his belly aimed directly at the ceiling fan. Cat's got style.
»Currently one hundred and eight degrees Fahrenheit and eleven percent humidity in Phoenix. And I am packing for the mountains.
»Hiked Humphrey's Peak. It's the high point of Arizona (12,637 feet, not that I noticed) but only a warm-up for next week's trip to Colorado. So that should be fun.
»I'm reading "A Room With a View" for the first time. Why did none of you ever tell me how funny it is?
»Had a weekend full of sunrise hikes, farmer's market, satisfying house projects, gardening, a pool party, grilling with friends, and watching good movies with the dog. I won't lie: Monday is not living up.
»Some days are actually too hot for beer. This is one of those days. Good thing I have gin.
»Today I need to be smarter than I actually am. It's very hard.
»Ryan is out of town for five days, so I'm listening to all the music I like and he hates. This particular playlist is easily five days long.
»We're already at the part of summer* where I am delighted that the high will only be 100 tomorrow. Only 100! *Sadly, it isn't summer yet.
»Had dinner at the local brewpub last night. Beer was great but dessert options were nil. I wanted cheesecake for some reason and Ryan needs gluten-free, so we swung by the foodie market. In the dessert case? Rice pudding and cheesecake in a jar. Thank you very much. And then we went to the movies. To see "Chef," of course.
»I'm not saying the local paper isn't helpful, but when police close down my street and I spend an hour of my evening listening to the SWAT team negotiate via megaphone with someone three doors down, I admit I'd like some mention of the incident. You know, if they could spare some space between photos of girls in bikinis.
»Sunday: road trip to Flagstaff, hike Mt. Elden, visit the wool festival, picnic by the lake with pizza and a growler of Hefeweizen. Monday: desk, chair, 3,000 words. I guess we call this balance?
»Spicy pepita formula: 1 c pepitas + 2 t fresh lime juice + 1 t olive oil + 1/2 t salt + 1/8 t chipotle powder+10 minutes at 350F = might as well make a double batch.
»So far today I've made dill pickles, lemon verbena ice cream, and grilled corn. Must be June. Possibly June in the 19th century, but June for sure.
»I'm working on a Saturday in order to meet a deadline. Somehow I've decided that this means I'm very noble and dedicated instead of just very bad at time management.
»It's 105 and I've been digging up cacti at the botanical garden for the past five hours. Pretty sure there is not enough soap in my house to meet the need.
»The washing machine computer stopped computing. After a month of laundromat visits and attempted repairs, I was about to order a new machine when I found a possible fix online. Ryan re-soldered four tiny pins on the circuitboard and Voila! Another win for the interwebs. Also for gumption.
»Just read a report on "generational characteristics." Apparently I'm a skeptical, anti-authoritarian loner. It's like the author can see my GenX4ever tattoo all the way from her desk.
»What I need to do: stop researching and start writing. What I want to do: lie down on the floor and close my eyes. What I am doing: researching just a few more things.
»It's so hot I nearly got heatstroke hanging out the laundry. On the upside, the clothes will dry fast.
»Two Mondays ago, I was at a party in Hawaii wearing a lei made of purple flowers and drinking a fancy drink. This Monday is different from that Monday.
»A hundred and six degrees today. It's June 1st.
»Good grief, it's hot in Phoenix. Am I the only person who goes to Hawaii to cool off?
»In four days, we've hiked across lava fields, up and down steep valleys, through overgrown rainforests, and across hot sand. The only walk that I didn't like was the one across the tarmac to the plane to go home.
»Floating in the Pacific, I wonder if somehow the ocean is saltier around Hawaii than around Maine, because it's so easy and pleasant to drift along like a cork. Then I realize that the reason I don't do this in the North Atlantic isn't the salt content. It's the danger of freezing to death.
»Driving through Hawaii, I'm supposed to be reading the maps, but the street names go out of my head as soon as I look up. Must be all those vowels that make them so slippery.
»Fact 1: for a client project, I'm doing research on aging in America. Fact 2: my birthday is the day after tomorrow. These facts do not sit together comfortably.
»My Thursday night: Started out walking the dog and ended up riding in the front seat of a police cruiser en route to ID the guy I saw climbing over a fence with a pillowcase. And I said this town was boring.
»Ryan explained why he had to work until 9 last night. The reason involved fractured frangibles. Seriously: Fractured frangibles. It's like rocket poetry.
»When I submit a price estimate and the client approves it within 15 minutes, that means it was too low, doesn't it?
»I have yet to find a balance between doing interesting things and writing about them. I can still only manage one or the other. Lately, it's been the other.
»Do you know that feeling when you're hungry enough to eat a horse (even though you're vegetarian) and you have to run three errands before you can go home but you finally get there and discover that there are mushrooms and wild rice leftover from last night, plus a side of green beans and also cold 8th Street Ale? I do. It's a nice feeling.
»Spent the entire afternoon cleaning my office and I'm just about ready for that burn party. It's gonna be a big one.
»I stayed up to watch the eclipse and it was beautiful, but if I didn't know what was happening, I would have been scared witless. Moon gets eaten up and then reappears as a hazy red ghost of itself? End times.
»Went to dinner to celebrate finishing the taxes. And ate at the good but divey Indian place because now I know exactly how little money I made.
»The new brewery that just opened three miles from my house makes very good beer. I may need a satellite office.
»Got an itch to hear David + David, so in less than ten seconds, I downloaded Boomtown. It's playing now, and I guess I have to say nice things about technology. But it ain't so easy.
»Luna is trying out a new family today. She left two hours ago and has already gone for a walk, a swim, and out to lunch. But I'm sure deep down she misses us.
»Woke up with my shoulders aching like I spent hours swinging a pick axe yesterday. Oh, wait. I did.
»Applied for a cool gig on Monday. Got a polite rejection letter on Tuesday. I do admire efficiency.
»The lab rescue people: "We'll take her!" Me: "YEAH!" Them: "But we don't have a foster home right now. Can you be her foster home?" Me: "This is not working out the way I planned."
»Ryan just called me a Luddite because I'm testing the temperature of the milk with my finger. "I don't understand why you won't just buy a thermometer. This is a new era." Please note: he says this while hand-planing a picture frame.
»Waiting for the lab rescue people to let me know if they can take Mayday. I imagine this is how pregnant women feel by the third trimester: I like you, baby, but I want you out of here.
»Having another one of those awesome weeks where nobody returns my e-mails. Mr. Cellophane, I know how you feel.
»I make crazy good vodka sauce. Crazy good. Just thought you should know.
»Ryan has given me at least 8 nice pens over the years. So why am I trying to take notes with the one that weighs half a pound and keeps skipping?
»I finally met an editor for a local magazine who is looking for freelancers and has lots of work to offer. Pretty sure I offended her.
»Spent Saturday afternoon at the Cubs/Reds game and I'm reporting that Cactus League isn't as fun as it used to be. Related: beer now costs $8.50 a pint.
»Luna went to a new home. I missed her, but then she came back. I think I'd like to go back to missing her.
»This morning I was buzzed by a hummingbird, chased by a mockingbird, and scolded by a cactus wren. Must be nesting season.
»A friend laments that his greatest regret is not buying his truck a couple years earlier, before they all got so big. My biggest regret is...not my truck, that's for sure.
»Whenever my mother mentions that she read one of my blog posts, I tell myself to stop swearing so much. Then I remember that her father was a fisherman.
»If I was complaining about the Novocaine, I'm sorry. Now that it's wearing off, I want it back. Or else a large glass of gin.
»Went to the dentist's this afternoon and now the entire left side of my jaw is senseless. The entire right side? Just fine. And my chin is confused.
»A nine-year-old kid meets my blue-eyed foster dog and asks: "Is she blind?" So I ask you: Where do they learn these things?
»For reasons I do not understand, last night I was possessed of the need to listen to "Come On Eileen" six times in a row. Finally, You Tube is useful.
»I won't go into details, but let me assure you that this beer I'm drinking with lunch? I needed it.
»A friend just sent me an email with the subject line "I Need Help." So I helped him. And now I am in awe of his genius because I never would have thought to try that.