It was hot this weekend. How hot was it? Here’s one of the neighbors at Alex’ house:
Alex said he’s never seen a squirrel relax like this. I have, once. It was on a picnic table, and it was stretched out, belly down, in much this fashion. It was also on a hot day. Spriggy would stretch out like this, terrier-style, but almost always on a cool surface, like a tile floor, or even wood. That picnic table wasn’t cool, but maybe it was, relative to everything around it.
Or maybe squirrels know the behavior, but aren’t good about applying it. Little pea-brains.
It was a hot weekend, yes. Mid-90s, horrible humidity. We went to the lake Friday, our staging ground for a run to Fort Wayne Saturday, then home again Sunday. Kate wanted to see her friends. Alan hadn’t been back since we left. Good news: Our house was sold, downtown looks great, I got a mint-condition large-folio collection of New Yorker cartoons in the Friends of the Library shop for $8. (God, I miss that library. The recent expansion and remodel cost $80 million, and required a tax increase. The usual suspects whined and passed petitions for a remonstrance. Why do we need a fancy library when we have the internet, etc. etc. blah blah blah. I would hear none of it. All my damn life my tax money has gone to support stadiums I will never set foot in. Just once I wanted a big fancy public-works project for people like me, and I got it. And then we moved. Sigh.)
The bad news: The south side is looking pretty… what’s the word? Oh yes: Detroity. Our neighborhood grocery, closed. Our neighborhood Italian restaurant, closed. Our neighborhood fancy restaurant, closed. General Electric factory, closed. Lots of plywood, lots of For Sale or Lease. The recession hasn’t been kind to any city, but it’s been especially tough on Midwest manufacturing centers.
But we saw our old neighbor, Deb, and sat outside in the shade in her lavish new outdoor kitchen, watching her goldfish swim in her new outdoor pond. She was seeing a contractor for a while. I told Alan that if anything happened to him, that’s where I’d be hanging around — construction bars, making eyes at guys in tool belts. And we saw Alex, and marveled at his place in summertime. I’d only seen it in winter, and needed to behold the enormous vegetable garden and flower garden and boat lift and outdoor fireplace. The vegetable garden has an electric fence and metal plates driven a foot deep at the perimeter to discourage chipmunks, but they get in anyway. Suggestions welcome, I’m sure.
And then home, where a line of thunderstorms passed through and blew some of the heat away, so I can commence Manic Monday with a relatively dry scalp. Some bloggage:
Roger Ebert on BP. Simple, sane, bewildered — as are we all.
Why I love the British newspapers, chapter infinity. Imagine pitching this story to an American editor: “I’d like to ask a variety of prominent artists about how Caravaggio influenced their work.” “News peg?” “None.” “Sounds great!” Would never happen.
The Wikileaks doc dump on Afghanistan is today. This New York magazine piece has several links within. Read, wail and commence gnashing teeth. I don’t know what else to do. Except get to work. So that’s where I’m heading.