For some reason, this felt like the first weekend of summer. Probably because, technically, it was. I spent a couple of previous June weekends working on the book project, but this was the first where I was free to spend an afternoon sailing, and that? Is a way to feel like summer.

So this week should be relaxing, because the next deadline is…checking…oh, next weekend. So much for that.

Seriously, though, it was a great weekend. Lots of sunshine, hot but not oppressively so, festivals and farmers’ markets. Got my hair did. Bike ride, yoga. The usual.

And on Sunday, because this summer is actually last summer, I watched “World War Z” again. (Netflix.) My editor at this time last year was very disappointed with it, because it didn’t hew closely to the book, but I loved the stupid thing. I loved the sound the zombies made, the way each one’s method of attack seemed to have something to do with the root personality of the victim; there’s a snippet where one freshly zombified victim turns and very precisely snaps his jaw three of four times, like he’s warming it up for the feast ahead. Others writhe and snarl and some seem almost sad about what they’re about to do. Dumb movie, but smart, if that makes any sense.

In bloggage today? The Freep had part one of what promises to be a deck-clearer on the subject of charter schools in Michigan. I must hold my tongue on much of this, but I should point out that one of the biggest players in the game, in Michigan and elsewhere, is Bill Coats, who was one-time superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools. The conservatives in town hated him with a white-hot passion. It amuses me that he’s entered their own “school reform” movement and come out a winner.

The pilot of the Malaysian airplane was playing hmmmmm games on his home flight simulator before the day of the flight. Hmmm.

And so the week begins.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

36 responses to “Summer.”

  1. Sherri said on June 23, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Summer! Sixteen hours of daylight, most of it sunshine this weekend!

    I’m shocked, shocked to hear that absent those pesky burdensome regulations, grifters hurried to feed at the public trough.

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  2. Dexter said on June 23, 2014 at 2:45 am

    My weekend culminated with a party in a town just a stone’s throw south of the Michigan line Sunday night. About 35 people and an assortment of children, people of all ages come together to say hello to the kids of our friends who long ago moved to Knoxville. We got there and I headed to the deck and grabbed a chair to say hello to the assembled men. There were nine men at the table by the grill, and seven were smoking cigarettes. Big deal, right? Outside, no problem. I am not used to being around more than a faint whiff of tobacco smoke when a car goes by. I tried to be sociable but I was out-done and overcome, and I had to leave and go inside where the women were gabbing. I am no longer an anti-smoking zealot like I was for a while. I am not going to be able to get cigarettes outlawed. But sheesh…it’s 2014, and you just cannot hold a two-year-old toddler and blow cigarette smoke around him! Sometimes long periods go by and I don’t think about cigarettes at all…to me they are a part of long-ago America, Americana, like hay stacks and corn shocks and carburetor equipped cars, OK in WWs I and II, black and white films (what’s Bogie without a Chesterfield?) and OK rolled up in the tee shirt of a DA haircutted high school punk in 1956, but in 2014? People oughtta know better. GodDAMNit!

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  3. Dexter said on June 23, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Here’s a good example of the DA, btw.

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  4. Deborah said on June 23, 2014 at 6:44 am

    This weekend we did two things on opposite ends of the spectrum and they were both fantastic. As I mentioned in a previous comment, Friday night we went to the rodeo and Suday afternoon we went to a chamber music concert at this house in Abiquiu We have season tickets to the concerts, we did last year too. Here’s more about the program Saturday we walked to the farmers market and went to some yard sales. I watched the movie, “The Life of Pi”, which turned out to be completely different from what I was expecting. We spent a lot of the weekend outside, lovely weather.

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  5. Dorothy said on June 23, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I know what you mean, Dexter, about smoking. If I’m at a social event now and someone lights up (or several someones) I’m sort of shocked. Which is stupid, I know, but I know so few smokers it seems foreign to me anymore.

    We went to a hog roast at our daughter-in-law’s half-sister’s home. It was a combination high school graduation party for Meg’s nephew, and several birthdays had occurred in the last 6 weeks or so too, in their family. The smokers all had their smokes over by the roasting pit, which I appreciated. The pork was fabulous, as were all the side dishes (mac’n cheese, corn casserole, pasta salad). I brought some delicious potato salad (much better than the store made stuff I saw on the table – I know this without even tasting the store bought. All store bought potato salad is inedible in my estimation, unless you get the high-end stuff in the expensive stores like Dorothy Lane Market or Whole Foods.) We stayed for 2.5 hours but had to get back – our dog walker is visiting relatives in Florida; we also had so much to do at home, but it was nice to have that party to go to. We stopped at a nursery on the way home and bought a weigela that was 45% off, and asked the lady to pronounce it for us. I had one at our previous home and wanted to start one at this new home. Naturally my goofball husband had to nick name it, like he does for most things, so now it’s known as the “Hava Nagila” plant. He calls hibiscus “Seabiscuit” and wisteria “the hysterical plant.” I had a delicious nap yesterday, in between church, ironing some cotton garments for work, trimming a non-blooming lilac shrub near our mailbox, folding some laundry, watching the USA/Portugal match and two episodes of OITNB (#s 5 & 6). We also made a container of caprese salad and a cold bean salad with cucumbers, garbanzo beans, olives, garlic and a few other ingredients. Dinner was a Skillet Chicken with Rhubarb dish from the NYTimes, roasted beets and sweet onions, and roasted broccoli. Summer is off to a good start.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on June 23, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Smokers are rare in my social circle too, and I stayed home from a party recently where I knew they would be unavoidable. It’s just not worth being sick for two or three days afterwards.

    Too much work this weekend but we very much enjoyed seeing the movie version of Jersey Boys. The reviews said it was too much like the Broadway show, which was a positive for me. Our lad loves this music so much and has analyzed it all, so the discussion afterward was why they changed keys for the movie, tempos, harmony changes, etc. And did they record this one live? If not it was the best lip-syncing I’ve seen.

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  7. Jolene said on June 23, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I’d be shocked, too, to find myself in a group where seven of nine people were smoking. Am not sure I even know anyone who smokes anymore. Quite a social transformation, really. Logically, we should be able to use some of the strategies that have been used to reduce smoking to reduce gun violence, but there isn’t much logic in that debate.

    I watched the last couple of episodes of Fargo and agree with you, Dorothy, that it was really good. Good writing with wisps of comedy slipped into all the murderousness and good acting all around. Was hard to believe that Bob Odenkirk was the same human that played Saul in Breaking Bad.

    Starting OITNB now.

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  8. adrianne said on June 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I think “World War Z” took a bum rap because of all the production problems. I went to see it last summer with my zombie-lovin’ sister-in-law (nobody else wanted to come with) and I liked it.

    First weekend of summer was absolutely gorgeous here in the Hud Val. Cooked out two nights in a row, may make it a triple header if I’m ambitious enough.

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  9. brian stouder said on June 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

    We made it through the graduation party Saturday, and Pam didn’t kill me – so it’s all good!

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  10. Judybusy said on June 23, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Love reading about everyone’s weekends–isn’t summer grand! We were very social this weekend: people for dinner both Friday and Saturday, getting full use of the new patio. Went to the dog park with friends who have three young girls, and on Sunday, did “TerminatorFest” with a couple. We began with brunch, watched the first two, had dinner, watched #3. We also dragged the guy half of the couple out for a walk. Kinda sorry to not be outside, but it was fun watching the movies and spending time with our friends!

    I would love positive vibes from all of you as one of my partner’s childhood friends is going through induced labor today (actually began early last evening; no babe yet.) When she was 8 weeks pregnant, she found out she had breast cancer. She’s done chemo, and has to be induced three weeks early so they can start radiation. Amy is an amazing woman, and I hope baby Mira comes safely and quickly into this world.

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  11. brian stouder said on June 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Judybusy – consider the Positive Vibe machine ON and at FULL-BLAST!

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  12. Jolene said on June 23, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Wow! Tough way to go through pregnancy. My best thoughts to your friend, JudyB.

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  13. Dorothy said on June 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I cannot begin to imagine what that would be like – pregnant and then diagnosed with cancer. I’ve heard of it before and it’s just chilling to think about. All good thoughts are being directed to her and her family today!

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  14. Deborah said on June 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Totally off subject, but hilarious for fitbit wearers. I love David Sedaris, it’s all so true too

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  15. Charlotte said on June 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

    The smoking thing shocks me every time I come back to the Midwest. I’ve been out west since the late 1980s, and I hardly know anyone who smokes on a regular basis (well, Jim Harrison, but he’s from Michigan, and our friend Bushie, the contractor.) My mother is a real chain smoker, totally addicted, and every outing with her involves a lot of stopping so she can smoke. I’m the only one in my immediate family who never took it up, I’m sure in part a combo of watching my youngest brother die of cancer in the 1970s and watching my dad quit and start and quit and start. That people my age still smoke on the North Shore surprises me every time …

    And Judy — positive baby vibes coming your friend’s way. What a heartbreaker — so much joy and terror all at one time.

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  16. Connie said on June 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I had my favorite kind of weekend, one at home doing almost nothing. Had our first local strawberries of the season, along with local asparagus and sugar snap peas. My husband came home from visiting his mother with another load of rhubarb, so we are soon to have our fourth rhubarb cream pie of the season. Spent Saturday reassuring a scared dog that the fireworks were far away and no danger to her, but she didn’t believe me.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on June 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    If you spend any time around folks from the Middle East or South Asia, you’ll see plenty of smokers. Almost without exception, the students I taught at the community college last semester who trace their lineage to Egypt or Syria, India or Pakistan smoked. This does not include their fondness for hookah bars. I chided them about it but they just shrugged and lit up.

    We had great weather in Chicago, mostly, but we’re in the midst of a post-kitchen remodel cleanup. Dust has permeated everything and everywhere. . .every dish, platter and spoon must be rewashed and then put into cabinets and drawers that have been cleaned and washed. Ugh. My only time outside was taking Cosmo to the park.

    Glad to see the Supreme Court, as usual, standing up for corporations. They ruled today to make it much harder to control emissions through regulations. We probably don’t need to worry about ISIS or al Queda or the Taliban. We’ll just choke and poison ourselves to death at some point.

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  18. Suzanne said on June 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I saw Jersey Boys this weekend as well. It’s quite good! I was never a big Frankie Valli fan, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but it was fast paced and enjoyable. Christopher Walken just does strange so well!

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  19. Julie Robinson said on June 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Christopher Walken is a national treasure, isn’t he? I wasn’t a Four Seasons fan until I heard the CD from the show–I’m maybe a bit too young. But the harmonies they were creating as well as their instrumentations were unheard in other pop music of the time. All that ground-breaking (or so I thought) music from Chicago was actually lifted from the Four Seasons.

    I forgot that we had local strawberries for the second and possibly last time this weekend. All the heat and rain make for a short season. I wish America knew that strawberries aren’t supposed to be white on the inside.

    We had someone shooting fireworks too. Grr.

    My thoughts and prayers to Amy, Mira, and all who love and support them.

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  20. Jolene said on June 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Have you all been watching the Google Doodles associated with the World Cup? I thought today’s was especially cute.

    The whole series is at the link below. You have to click on each one to get the effect because they are animations, but today’s is, of course, on the home page.

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  21. Joe Kobiela said on June 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Flew 4 people to Birmingham Alabama Friday morning for the whole weekend, they were Sponsors for a AMA super bike rider, the 200 mph nuts that come around the curves with their knee down. Any way he won both races. After leaving them in Birmingham I drove to Atlanta and Saturday morning took a cram class for the written portion of my Airline Transport Pilot license, started at 8 took the test at 3 and PASSED, just have to do the flight test, it’s like getting a PhD in flying, Sunday stopped and took a tour of Talladega speedway, if you have ever seen it on tv it’s much bigger in person, bank is 33 degrees in the turns and there 5 stories high, got back and went to red mountain and checked out the statue of Vulcan, very impressive. Landed at fwa around 9:30 last night. All in all a good weekend.
    Pilot Joe

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  22. Basset said on June 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Went to a couple races at Talladega back in the 80s before NASCAR got boring, it is indeed quite a sight. Last time we went four of us took a little Cessna down from Nashville, I don’t fly but sat up front so I could see what was going on… at the time the little airstrip next to the track was only controlled two times a year, on race days, and you were supposed to call the controller on the radio when you were I forget how many minutes out.
    There was so much traffic, though, that we were in sight of the field when we heard the controller say “y’all just pick you one out and follow him in.” So we did and were lined up to land when we heard the controller ask “who’s on final?” We said “us” and right away someone says “no, us” and a much bigger and faster twin-engine plane blows over the top of us and lands a little further down.
    We’re on the ground and tying the plane down when someone shows up and whips out a badge saying he’s a FAA inspector, routine license check so that was no problem and then we start talking about how the weekend has gone and he says the day before they had four student pilots, not a one of em licensed, in a little plane like ours take off into the pattern – in other words, into oncoming air traffic.

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  23. Sherri said on June 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Now I understand why we spend so much on our military! It’s to beef up our soccer team!

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  24. Dexter said on June 23, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Of course this was going to happen, just let the Redskins controversy die down a little and then spring an attack, as the native Americans are once again suing to remove Chief Wahoo forever, and maybe change the Indians’ team name too.
    I used to go to one home weekend game on every home stand and one day I had to walk through a rather small protest twenty years ago right outside Jacobs Field in Cleveland. I had turned down overtime money and had driven all the way across the top of Ohio for baseball, however, so I didn’t honor the picket line, which had not been mentioned beforehand in the press. One dour faced huge man with long,long black pigtails stared me down as I walked towards the gate. It was unnerving, but I knew this protest was not going to end the use of Chief Wahoo, so I attended the game. This article says that Sen. Brown is for removing the chief but keeping the moniker…for decades now the Minnesota Twins have only referred to the Cleveland Indians as “the Cleveland American League Baseball Club.”

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  25. MichaelG said on June 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Saturday night the Sacto cops and a Fish and Wildlife warden tranked and captured a mountain lion about a mile from my house.

    Went out for a very nice lunch Sunday with my daughter and the grandkids and then watched The soccer game. Yes I said a bad word.

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  26. elaine said on June 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    We rented “The Lego Movie” and then I binge-watched “True Detective.” Loved them both.

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  27. David C. said on June 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    We had our first strawberries too. We grow a wild variety, so they are tiny and delicious. Not at all like the huge lumber like ones in the store. We pick and pick and end up with less than a pint. Oh, well. It’s so worth it.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on June 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    David is a man who understands that size isn’t everything!

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  29. Sherri said on June 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Random query: I just purchased a used digital camcorder on eBay that theoretically will allow me to convert and store all those old 8mm cassettes of my daughters early years digitally. Has anybody else undertaken such a task?

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  30. brian stouder said on June 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Julie – I arrived at (or was forced to!) that conclusion many, many years ago

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  31. Basset said on June 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Sherri – use the digital output to your computer & you should be all set. My 8mm camcorder has a Firewore connector, that’s how old it is.

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  32. Basset said on June 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    FireWire, I mean. No telling what the autofill was trying to do there.

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  33. Sherri said on June 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    My analog camcorder long ago bit the dust, so I was looking at options, and buying a used digital camcorder seemed like the best way to go. We’ll see how well it works when it arrives.

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  34. Dexter said on June 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I think it was Ben Smith who first compared this to the Tonya Harding saga.

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  35. Sherri said on June 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    More details on Hope Solo:

    She’s a very talented goalie, but a real piece of work. Her husband is a much less talented football player who has managed to skate on numerous charges and allegations, including rape. If he hadn’t dropped so many passes, he’d probably still be employed by an NFL team, but he wasn’t good enough for them to tolerate all his other baggage.

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  36. Jill said on June 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Lots of good thoughts for Amy and Mira. I hope you’ll give us some good news about them.

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