I'm back from the beach.
1. I should have been more vigilant with the sun screen, particularly for the kids' sakes. I enjoyed collecting smooth white rocks. Then I realized that I was mimicking something a character Diane Keaton played did in a movie. So, it was just a copy of someone else's beach experience. I decided that this was ok, that I was still enjoying it, and that even if the movie gave me the idea, the experience is still one that I was having. My creative daughter spent her time constructing an elaborate jelly fish graveyard and finding dead jelly fish to bury.
2. I am completely upset over the Floyd Landis thing. I really, really believed in his amazing triumph after bonking. It was such a fantastic, beautiful, inspiring ride. I don't want it to be true that he doped. I really don't.
3. I was mightily impressed with an old friend's husband. About 5 years ago (I expect he would have been in his early 50s at the time), he decided that he was too attached to his symptoms, to his own misery. So, he changed. I admire this.
4. Paul's house tribulations are escalating. Some of the wiring seems to have been done in the 30s or 40s. Other parts of the wiring are just bunched together in boxes. There are live wires found in strange places. He's trying to do the electrical himself. He's never done something like this. In the third floor apartment where he wants to live, he spent a lot of time removing plaster and concrete from a wall to reveal old brick (this looks great but took a lot of time and made a huge mess). Then he discovered that other walls weren't brick but something like old cement blocks. These now have holes in them that need to be patched. This was the apartment where he tore out a restraining wall and ripped out the ceiling. And, there will be yet more demolition before reconstruction begins. School starts before Labor Day and he has already rented the first floor apartment where he now lives.
5. The kids and I went to Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC. I got a cookie dough cupcake: instead of frosting, the top had like an inch of cookie dough on it. It was amazing. My daughter overfilled a bag of M&Ms--most of the one's she picked were odd colors: grey, maroon, mustard.
6. I finished reading an academic novel. It was called The Blue Angel, and, yes, relied on parallels with the movie. I ordered the book from an Amazon vendor. The weird thing: there was a photograph of a woman in the book. It's a closeup. She has long blond hair and looks to be in her 40s. She looks like an academic. The photo has weirded me out. Why is it there? Who is this woman? Was the book a gift and the picture part of the gift? Did someone discard the woman's photo deliberately? Does someone miss it? I showed it to my friend, Lee, secretly convinced that she would know her. She didn't. She said that she would burn the photo in a kind of ceremony to release the woman. That feels strange to me. I wondered about putting her photo up here, but that seems wrong, a forced exposure. I'm glad that I've finished the book because it unnerves me when the photo falls out (I've kept it in the book because I don't know what else to do with it).