Back in the clean-smelling digs of the Grand Reading Room at OSU. This is the likely the last chance I’ll get before the kids start coming back en-masse. The quiet and calm communal atmosphere reminds of the library at St. Therese’s Retreat House. The smell does too.
Still tempted by a two-day, one-night trip to NYC. Does anybody try such a thing? Want to Google that and see if anyone else is fool enough to try a micro-trip.
Been reading more of Larry McMurtry’s three slim volumes of memoirs. Talked about how he tried to start a pen-pal relationship with John Updike but the latter “politely stopped sending letters after just two.” Love that sort of writely in-house gossip.
Moved on to the West Atrium. As fine as the Grand Reading Room is, I still like window with a view. The west atrium and the 11th floor reading rooms are the cat’s meow. It becomes evident around this time why they close the curtains - this view faces due west, and by a certain hour the sun shines directly in. Here at 1:50pm, the shield is taken down a few feet. At 2:50 presumably it’ll come down all the way.
Yesterday watched an hour or so of the Clipper’s game. The crowd was sparse, to put it mildly, but the weather divine albeit in that westerly fall way. The game was rather boring with 8 runs scored by the Clips over 4 innings. There was nothing on the line, no pennant and no players I’d ever heard of before. I nursed a 32-ounce beer, the Columbus summer ale instead of the riskier but surely better IPA. Baseball seems a game so entwined with mid-summer in my mind.
Nothing shows the artifice of contemporary culture than seeing a clear, transparent little package full of a saline or silicon, breast implant material. And so the man who’s eye is tricked by someone who is artificially big-breasted is merely looking, in part, at a silicon pack.
I’m looking at a curious cloud above me. It a long thin thing, like a large jet exhaust stream only it’s not expanding in that tell-tale jet way. It looks like a spinal column.
Glorious to be off work today. Feel much more in the vacation groove today than yesterday, for whatever reason, although can taste the panic akin to vacations that have ebbed away too quickly. I have a gargantuan appetite to read but the day is so beautiful that I went and took the kayak to the lake.
Met with Brendan of “Darwin Catholic” fame last night. In town for an interview, good to see him again in a small group (last time we had a Knights of the Round Table feel due to the larger crowd). We talked a lot about Betty Duffy. All good of course. Nice to be in the familiar surroundings of the hometown pub though I’m afraid it wasn’t the most convenient place for Brendan due to construction. They just cut off a vital bit of road.
Happened to catch was WFB's longtime employee Linda Bridges on C-Span. She was asked a question about what she thought of Christopher Buckley's "Losing Mum & Pop" and she said that she thought it was his right to write it but that she didn't think it was worth it because the agonies of WFB's last days weren't unique. That his life had exceeded his strength is nothing unusual. I was reminded of a line in Wordsworth's "Prelude": "And of old men who have survived their joys."
A trip to Cincy & back were painless. I listened to Nancy Brown’s Chesterton conference pod casts and wondered why a love of Chesterton wasn’t more prevalent. My uncle Mark, among many others, find the idea not quite his idea of fun. How esoteric a vacation spent hearing lectures about Chesterton must be! At least to those unused to the idea of learning vacations.
I also listened to part of Bill Simmons’s sports podcast with Al Michaels. Pure gold, although I squandered too much time on Simmons’s other podcast concerning 90210, a show I’ve watched exactly zero times. In between Chesterton & Simmons I heard Clayton Morris and Karl Rove’s book podcast. They recommended something titled “Memorial Day” by a Tom Clancy-like author whose name escapes me but whose book seems like fine escapism. I was disappointed their book club didn’t choose Michael Chabon’s “Manhood for Amateurs” but it didn’t win the fan voting.
Had breakfast at a little Mom & Pop shop; liked the eclectic décor which included such disparate furnishings as a portrait of a horse, a colorful sunset, a wood carving of Christ, and the Latonia race track and the Last Supper. The Bob Evans’ and Frisches’ of the world can’t compete personality-wise. And just about all the coffee you can drink.
Afterwards a visit to an antiquarian bookstore, where a family member was loathe to enter because of potential bedbugs. The pest can hide in books, and she wanted no part of that. Can't live your life afraid of bedbugs, even though admittedly Ohio is the bedbug capital.
Now playing: Albert King’s “Answer to the Laundromat Blues”: “Every time you go to the laundry mat baby, I want you to know, I want you to know I’ll be there too.”
The S.A.D. Blues: a blues song written by a middle-aged white computer programmer
You call me & I'm grumpin’ at the store,
Waitin’ to buy that daily beer,
You say, “Did you remember Lysol?”
And I say, “Baaa-beee, I got the seasonal affective disorder blues.”
Ref: ‘Round ‘bout September,
Sun starts banker’s hours,
‘I say ‘round about September,
That mean old sun has banker’s hours,
And I say, “why can’t I be a bear,
And sleep the winter dours?”
The day sun’d brightly, bare of puns but cool to the touch like Coor’s with the “cold activation window”, a little dohickie that saves you the trouble of touching the beer to tell if it’s cold. Modern technology at its finest.
We headed to the plains and rumply rises of P. Oaks park. Buddy, the nation’s most popular name for dogs though not our first choice, checked his pee-mail while I made tracks around the brilliant lapping lake. The sky was a stellar hue of blue with clouds there for decorative purposes only. It reminded me of those rides under the solstice sun in Hilton Head, the pungency of pine needles lingering in my nostrils like a muscle memory.