Touching Base: August

Dear August,

How's it going with you? Yeah, I know, you're busy. You're the only month without a federal holiday--that whole Puritan Work Ethic thing looks good on you, I guess--but you're also packed with all kinds of last-minute vacations and desperate preparations for the school year. As a result, if you don't mind my saying so, you come off as kind of frantic, but not exactly productive. Oh, and the whole blazing heat/high humidity thing? Hate to tell you, but it's been done. July has pretty much claimed it. If I were you, I'd cool off now and throw everybody a curve.

Me? Oh, I've been busy. I've done a couple of interviews for the new book, discussing everything from the twelve-to-six curve ball to the chromosomal cause of Turner's Syndrom, just as you'd expect for a book on birding, and I'll be talking to some other bright minds about subjects like Euclidean geometry and political redistricting in the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping to have at least a raw manuscript together by Labor Day, but this may be optimistic.

One reason I may be optimistic: there's been a lot of college prep. Ian has successfully gotten his damage deposit back from his landlord, but to get it, there was a fair amount of packing and planning and driving and moving and loading and unloading to do. I'm proud of him and his roommate for getting it together and doing the lion's share of the work themselves, though; I just helped out, primarily with driving and money and a few organizational suggestions. Still, I think we can all take pride in having accomplished a move from apartment to storage facility in under two hours from the time we got the truck to the time we closed the storage locker.

Now, of course, we have to move him into the NEW apartment next week. So think about what I said concerning the weather, okay, August?

The wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a trip that involved Getting Away From It All (yay!) but did not involve much in the way of Driving. On the afternoon of the 12th, we headed over the Blue Ridge to Staunton, VA, where we had a terrific Italian meal at Emilio's before ducking around the corner to see The Importance of Being Earnest at the Blackfriars Theater, home of the American Shakespeare Center. The show was, as ASC shows usually are, highly energetic, filled with delightful music (played and sung by the actors), and totally engaging. (I hope I won't spoil anything for you by telling you we took a special delight in experiencing a performance of the B-52s' "Love Shack" with Lady Bracknell taking the Fred Schneider parts.) Afterwards, it was still early enough (and we had digested enough) that we felt compelled to head back to Emilio's for dessert. (Kel got tiramisu and I had a lemon gelato. Yum.) We then returned to our room at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, right next door to the theater, and caught the end of a rebroadcast of the USA/Brazil Women's World Cup game before retiring.

The next morning, we wandered Staunton, noshing on everything from enchiladas verdes to cheesecake to coffee, poking our noses into tiny shops, chatting with cashiers, and settling down to watch the USA/Japan final. (Dammit.) On the way home, we took a swing through Charlottesville to pick up the new George R.R. Martin book (Staunton having sold out already), and arrived home just in time to start driving the kids to their various social engagements.

Luckily, a week or two later, Thing Two became the owner of a Virginia driver's license, which was finally accomplished with an intense week of behind-the-wheel training, and it has freed up our driving options somewhat. Now he can get himself to his job--an irregular but well-paying dishwashing gig at a local B&B/restaurant--and not have to rely on his parents or his brother, the latter of whom is 99% of the way toward nailing down a position at a Richmond eatery close to his new apartment. If that actually comes through, he'll be able to have a steady supply of cash for the school year. We approve.

In short, August, we've had a plenty to do lately, and since you're going to be seeing us to take BOTH kids to college, as well as starting up my faculty meetings, we'd appreciate it if you'd be calm and comfortable and inexpensive. Okay?

Talk to you soon,


P.S. Do NOT try to arrange a federal holiday for yourself by having the government default. Just don't. Got me?

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on August 1, 2011 11:06 AM.

A Brief Hiatus was the previous entry in this blog.

"Freedom Isn't Free" is the next entry in this blog.

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