Slacker News Update

Whoops, well, yeah, here we are, a month or so later and I still don’t have much to say. July is our busiest month at the bookstore – yes, I know, it’s counterintuitive, but there you have it – and so it feels as if I’ve just been working round the clock. I haven’t really but I get home and I’m tired as hell and hate humanity, so all I want to do is put my feet up, drink a little wine and fall asleep. I do manage to tinker around in the garden a bit – not enough – but anyway I have so far canned 16 pints of pickles and the hors d’oeuvres for the party I threw last Saturday night were overwhelmingly locally sourced, which is to say I made salsa straight outta the front yard and caprese as well. And it was not half bad. And, in great gardening triumphs, the bad storms last week broke my Mexican sunflower in half, which in turn broke my heart in half. I staked it up as best I could before work and then that afternoon when I got home I duct taped the whole shebang, broken stem, stakes and all, back together and LO IT LIVES! Yes! Saved by duct tape!

Well. In July I reconnected with a very old friend who I hadn’t seen or talked to in 35 years and that was pretty awesome. When I was 16, you see, my career as a junior grade upper middle class juvenile delinquent had started moving right along and, when I got kicked summarily out of school for, among other things, smoking pot and forging sports excuses, my parents decided they had had about enough of me. So they shipped me off to the other side of the world to live with my hippie auntie – the Queen of Bohemia – on Mallorca. Hippie auntie had no interest in parenting but she was perfectly happy to let me live in one of her houses (she had two, next door to one another, long story) and do whatever I felt like doing. My friend Gerardo was the literal boy next door and our other friend Luke was the third in a small mostly inseparable teenage triumvirate that lasted several months I think, a lifetime in adolescent years. I went on to other less savory adventures on Mallorca – and some that were fine and great, it was a complicated time in many ways and it feels sort of like I’m just starting to try, all these years later, to make sense of that period of my life from a balanced adult perspective. Anyway it was amazing to see Gerardo who grew up to be a holy man of sorts, a practicing Taoist / Buddhist musician and we had a wonderful, interesting, deep conversation that proved what I have long thought: if you are really friends, you will always, no matter how long the gap, be able to pick up right where you left off.

This was also interesting in light of a book I’ve been reading: The Fourth Turning which I recommend although yeah, okay, it’s a bit dated and also, although it may just be me, who mostly reads fiction (I AM THE FICTION DIRECTOR AFTER ALL! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!) I have to keep putting it down and give up for a while. However it talks at some length about my generation, which is to say X, and how one of our archetypes is that of the neglected child. There is some truth in that – as I’ve gotten older I look back on my teenage life with a sort of horrified fascination, as in, um, perhaps completely unsocialized 16 year olds shouldn’t be left to live alone doing whatever the hell they please? and, related, where the hell were my parents during the bulk of my childhood anyway? At a giant cocktail party with all the other parents of the 70s, one suspects. And, bringing the adult perspective to bear again, good for them! At least they had some fun. Unlike their miserable descendants! No wait, I have had some fun. Too much, probably and that is why my brain anteater Godzilla glockenspiel. Let’s all go ride bikes!

In other news, I have this blog post knocking around my head about how life is just like Candy Crush. It is! Just like it! You cannot win, the game is rigged! Oh drat, um, that is the synopsis right there and maybe, just maybe, that is enough on that topic. Or maybe I will write it all out one day, be afraid.

What else happened in July? My lawnmower is dead, totally departed, totalled itself and gave up the ghost, nailed to the perch, a victim of planned obsolescence. And I am an idiot for not buying my friend Susan’s last April when I could have. The washing machine is likewise dead but it may be resuscitable, which isn’t a word but should be. As soon as we raise the money for a repair person (can you Kickstart that?) we will find out. We did indeed have a party and while it was smaller than I had hoped – I seem to have lost the knack for getting like 50 people to come to my house to drink too much or perhaps it is again a generational issue and we are all just getting too goddamn OLD for such shenanigans – a good time was had by all. And the house is clean. Also, I spiked a watermelon and then I drank vodka watermelon mixed with cucumber infused vodka all night long and never got all that drunk and wasn’t very hungover the next day. Discovery! I am not sure this is possible given, you know, reality parameters and SCIENCE, but I think the watermelon rehydrated the vodka somehow and turned it into, like, water. Yes! That must be the explanation.

Also in July my friend Jay and I tubed down the French Broad river from 12 Bones to the Bywater and THAT was one of the best days EVER. We encountered beer pirates, junked appliances poised as if fleeing on the banks of the river, extremely mild rapids which were nonetheless exciting, the cool undersides of several bridges – often featuring swallow nests! – a host of people on fluorescent tubes and friendly, inquisitive ducks. Then we drank beer, so, yes, amazing day. I found and used up an old underwater disposable film camera too, so there may yet be more pictures. You can see how relaxed I was in this amazing one taken by Jay. Ahhhh!

unnamedAnd in other news there is no other news. The weather has been awesome, the dogs are still the dogs, the cat is still the cat, son and daughter are still okay, although daughter has been very sick and even went to ABCCM for antibiotics which she got and now she is on the mend. Son has just as of yesterday given up one of his three jobs and is down to two, which is probably for the best. The Queen of Bohemia is flourishing. And nothing traumatic or awful or terrifying or horribly sad happened directly to our small family last month, let us all heave a giant sigh of relief and head off into August hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

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