It's been about a million degrees lately, which does not please me. I'm more of a cool weather gal. Temps over 75 make me sweat and complain. And yet I was born and raised in California. Southern California, no less. I am a freak. I should move to Scotland.
I've been obsessed with the Simon and Garfunkel song "America" lately:
It's a song I've always strongly identified with, because it reminds me of all the leisurely traveling I've done and enjoyed (though mine was mostly not in America, ironically enough). I always feel a certain sense of kinship with my fellow travelers when I'm on the road. My favorite line in the song is deceptively simple: "And the moon rose over an open field." I saw lots of sights like that, quiet moments that were nonetheless special, even when I was the only one to experience them. One time, riding a train through Scotland, I saw a fox hunting in a rape field, just going about his wild animal business, oblivious to the dozens of people zooming past in a big metal box, one of whom was watching him. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
(Note: When visiting my mom in Tallahassee a couple years ago, I saw a fox just roaming her street in the early morning. There's a creek near her house, and Tallahassee has lots of wooded copses, so it isn't all that surprising, but it was still incredibly cool. Foxes! Right in the city! Apparently, she sees them often.)
Speaking of travel and how cool it is, today I started reading A Week at the Airport, Alain de Botton's slim meditation on Heathrow Airport, modern travel, modern society, modern architecture, and lots of other thinky thoughts. The book is amazing. Seriously ... amazing. It's elegant and poetic and quirky and simple and vivid and funny and insightful and thought-provoking and just ... wonderful. I have it from the library, but I may have to buy myself a copy.
Okay, so maybe my love for the book is impacted by my love of airports and other people might not feel the same. But what if you might like it as much as I do? Would you want to miss out on that kind of experience?
Our house is currently The House of Construction. Today Ting and his guys (the same guys who worked on our garage) installed several new windows in our upstairs, including one in my office, and they are fabulously fabulous. Our old windows sucked big time -- didn't open well, didn't have screens to keep cats from leaping to their kitty deaths, etc. -- so now they are much more usable. But the windows being replaced were in Shannon's office and my office, and workers were trooping up and down the stairs, in and out the front door all day long, which meant that the cats had to be confined to the family room, which was where Shannon had also relocated his computer during the disorder, and I mostly had to stay out of my office all day (no email! no LJ! no fanfic!) because the floor was littered with dangerous-looking debris.
But now the windows are done, and tomorrow Ting and his guys are starting on our front steps. When we bought this house more than 11 years ago, I noticed that the front steps (made of red brick) leading to our front door had settled funny, resulting in a top step that is several inches taller than what is normal. I'm not sure if it's gotten worse over the last decade or if I've just become sensitive to it because so many guests have nearly fallen, but it's something I've been wanting to have fixed for years (before someone falls and hurts themselves). So tomorrow Ting is starting on it. I presume he will be tearing out the old stairs before building the new ones, so we will not be able to go in and out through the front door for a few days. This will be very strange. Luckily, Shannon just vigorously attacked our weeds about a week ago, because prior to that effort, traveling through the back yard would have required liberal use of a machete ... and perhaps a compass. Our yard grows weeds like nobody's business. Gardeners we are not.
On a random note: We got a Roku player for our family room, but it mostly sucked. We were using it to listen to Pandora, for example, and it kept just freezing up after playing a couple songs. We're planning to return it. Ah well.
Our new TiVo has arrived, but we have not yet hooked it up. Hurray for TiVo! I have missed you so, my love! DirecTV's DVR sucks so very very badly!
I also recently read the latest Laurell K. Hamilton "Anita Blake" novel, Hit List, and I was pleasantly surprised. Her Anita Blake books were absolutely terrible for a few years there -- I mean REALLY terrible -- but the last few have been better. Fewer unsexy, homophobic sex scenes, more plot, more character development. Maybe somebody finally got through to Hamilton that she now SUCKED.