Archives for posts with tag: Summer

I’ve taken three weeks off work (unpaid) thanks to a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. One of the best and most unexpected things about Minnesota is how supportive it can be of artists. Who knew? I just came here to get an MFA and find a wife. The grant is just icing on the cake.

Anyways, like a said, trying to write a book. I thought it might be good for me to have a little accountability. Thus, I’m going to try to write a little blurb here – if you’ll be kind enough to indulge me – every day or every other day, most days let’s say. Ok deal, most days I’ll check in. Since this is day two I’ll catch you up.

Day One :

I managed to make word inaccessible in on my computer. Yeah. Seriously. I don’t know. Let’s call it self-sabotage. Let’s call it idiocy. Thank goodness for the folks at Best Buy who promised to fix it overnight.

In the meantime, the poodle and I read in the sun:

poodle_summer15

Day Two:

Computer is back. Great. Now I have to write. FUCK. Ok, that’s ok. I have a degree in this. It’s what I supposedly like to do. Writing is fun. Writing can be fun. Writing isn’t so bad. Oh I should mention I’m also trying to get to my new crossfit gym five days a week during this three week period. Is it avoidance or does it add structure to the day. I’m not sure yet.

We can talk about that tomorrow. Thanks, as always, for listening, sweet blog-friends.

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Seventeen years ago a generation of cicadas crawled from an underground slumber in the Iowa soil and screamed for months. They flew about like tiny drunk pilots, slamming into humans and agriculture alike. They ruined a summer’s worth of outdoor picnics. Then – goal accomplished, I assume –  they mated, laid their eggs deep into the ground, and died.

Their babies have arrived. I assure you they scream just as passionately as their forefathers.

The poodle met a few of these new cicadas this weekend. Like most living creatures, they baffled her. She batted them about. Sniffed and snorted. Eventually she took a bite out of one and the screaming stopped. Here, I have photographic proof of the poor bastard:

CicadaHe’s kind of beautiful. Now that he’s quiet.

The poodle feels no shame. She seemed rather pleased with herself and the conquering of an invading army – or at least one enemy soldier. Here she is immediately post-kill:

HappyPoodleMy sweet little happy killer.

 

Every summer a certain song or two sticks to my psyche. This summer one of those wonderfully sticky songs is Lorde’s Royals.

That beat. That voice. Swoon.

On the hottest day in June we stood on a gravel path that cut through a prairie in central Iowa. We held small bouquets arranged by my mother-in-law, calla lilies and freesia. My brother combed his hair and tucked in his shirt. My mother cried. The dog behaved. My wife-to-be looked beautiful, like the best kind of summer girl in her green dress – even when she made that scrunched up cry face while saying our vows.

wedding1

Wedding2

Back at my mother’s house, just down the road, our families and friends gathered. More people than I expected Food. Games. Beer. Wine. More love than I deserve. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

wedding3

Summer has disappeared but the poodle has been busy:

shirleypoop

Little libraries spot my new neighborhood. Wooden hutches, or cupboards rather, filled with books. Free books. I hope you have these in your lives. I check them compulsively when I walk the dog – the three closest to my house. You’d be surprised the variety of titles people give up.

Just the other day I came across this:

DARK-PLACES_612x612

Luckily I was in need of a summer read and (after finishing the book in less than a week) I’d certainly recommend it. If you’re looking for a nice little summer page-turner, this ought to do just fine. If you’re looking for something a little deeper, this will do too. Flynn gives us a narrator that is wholly unlikeable, yet readable. These two often seem mutually exclusive but not here.

When I was done reading it, I took it back to the little library. Sent it back out into the world. When I checked the next day, it was gone. I hope my neighbor who came upon it next enjoyed it as much as I did.

The girlfriend and I made a list of the thing we wanted to do before fall arrives and our carefree days disappear. A Twins baseball game easily made the top of the list and today was perfect. Eighty degrees. A light breeze. Sunshine. Cheap seats. Yes, please.

Because we don’t know much about baseball (or sports in general), we like to pick a specific player to root for. Usually someone near our seats. We pay attention to his at bats. We watch him on the field. It might seem silly but it’s fun. Today we chose number 11, Ben Revere:

Look at that beautiful swing.

The first time the girlfriend and I chose a player together, we had a mutual hallucination. The day was as idyllic as today. The beer just as tasty. As the players warmed we looked around, weighed our choices on entirely frivolous grounds, and landed – separately – on number 22. “Great,” we said, “Now, what’s his name.” We looked at the program, then the scoreboard, then the internet. There was no 22. There had never been a number 22. We could find no reason why we both saw this mystical, hallucinatory number. Instead of panicking that our psychotic breaks had finally come, we rose our glasses.

If we’re going crazy at least we’re going crazy together.

The new job starts soon. Too soon it seems. Until then, I’m enjoying these last lazy late-summer afternoons and so is this sleepy poodle.

God, I love her but sometimes it seems like she is doing this stuff on purpose. Really, what dog needs a pillow? And how on earth am I supposed to get to crossfit with those little paws on my back? Damn you, poodle!

The first time we held the dog over water, she paddled her little puppy paws in the air. These days, she will fetch a tennis ball until those little paws can barely hold her up. Even then she wants to go just one more time. She is made to swim (and take long walks on the beach).

I’m going to miss summer.

Sit-ups have traditionally been my weak point. The first PT test I took in basic training I did nine. Yep, nine. My failure embarrassed me then and still bristles me today. So I studied. At the end of the day, even though I was exhausted and miserable, I hooked my feet beneath the bunk and did some sit-ups. In time, I improved. God I hate sit-ups.

When I started crossfit earlier this summer I realized running had become my weakness. I just don’t have the endurance I once did. My mile time is embarrassing. Those JV cross-country days are long behind me, it seems. So, I studied. On days I didn’t go to crossfit, I ran and I improved. Then summer got in the way – vacation, roof-top happy hours, patios, dog parks.

On Saturday I felt it. We did “Kelly” (5 rounds – 400m run, 30 wall balls, 30 box jumps). Holy shit. I could not keep up. My body was covered in a sweat after one round. By round two I had to rest after every 5 jumps. Don’t even ask what the run looked like. It was almost as embarrassing as that first PT test. Summer has not been kind to me.

Fine, I’ll study.

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