Wednesday, September 7, 2016

End of summer blues

I must say today did not go at all as planned.  I knew it was going to rain in the evening, but I have been feeling kind of sluggish and not exercising enough.  Thus, I rode my bike to work, expecting to leave it in the storage area until Friday.  Then I would take the Queen streetcar out to the Theatre Centre to watch The Glass Menagerie.

It was a fairly hectic day, trying to get some presentations ready and responding to a document that came across the desk towards the end of the day.  I looked up the ticket situation, and the play was sold out again!  Seriously, who goes to see a 2.5 hour play on a Wednesday?  There were a few tickets left for Thurs. and then reasonable availability Friday.  However, the timing is generally not that convenient for me, so I delved a bit deeper into the reviews to see if I really wanted to make the effort to go.  I think I'll save this for another post, but one of the reviews was both highly critical and very specific, and I am generally on the same wave length as this reviewer, so I can tell I would also be unsympathetic to the director's choices.  So not only did I not go see the play tonight, but I've decided to skip it entirely.

It looked like the rain would hold off for another 30 minutes or so, so I jumped on my bike and pedaled madly for home.  I got to Logan and was caught in a sudden downpour.  I think I only needed another 7-8 minutes.  Oh well.  It is probably going to rain on and off most of today and tomorrow.

The kids are back in school, which is great.  They seem to be adjusting reasonably well, and they both had a bit of homework on the second day.

It's probably worth taking stock of the summer.  I managed to get the deck done, which was a bigger undertaking than I imagined.  I ended up giving up the equivalent of 3 or even 4 weekends to this project.  I hope I feel it is worth it in the end.  I only enjoyed the deck sporadically, though I was sitting outside reading and heard a humming.  I looked up and saw a hummingbird right overhead, poking about in the large, flowery bush that hangs over the deck.  Very cool.  I think that is the first time I've seen one live.  The humming sound reminds me that they are now saying this will be one of the biggest cicada invasions in years, so perhaps I'll actually see some.  I didn't see any last summer/fall.

I had our stairs fixed inside, and I may have gotten the raccoons to move to another yard, though it is a bit early to tell.  I read a fair bit, though in some cases I mostly felt that I had persevered and I hadn't necessarily enjoyed the reading.  That's certainly the case with James Clifford's Routes and Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater, neither of which I would recommend.  While there were some genuine moments of pleasure reading Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, in general it was a fairly long slog.  I was pleased that I managed to read Hawking's A Brief History of Time, which is actually at the top of the list of books started but not completed.  Probably the most compelling read was Hill's The Book of Negroes, though if I go all the way back to mid June, then I also liked Munro's The Moons of Jupiter quite a bit.  I did not listen to Finnegan's Wake (and sort of follow along), as I thought I might do, but perhaps that will be an undertaking for the fall.

I saw quite a lot of good theatre, and I got in my annual trip to Stratford.  I saw a few concerts I enjoyed.  I did not, however, get particularly far with my own writing, though I guess I am about 1/3 of the way complete with "Final Exam."

I generally was able to ride my bike to work 3 days a week, never getting much above or below that.  I did not integrate swimming into the mix, though now that I have checked out the Regent Park Aquatic Centre, I'll try to go at least for a few months, before it gets too cold.  I did not do much work in the yard, and the plants have more or less all died, except the ferns in the back.  It was not a pleasant summer for plant life...

Perhaps the single most rewarding activity was the canoeing on the Humber, just since I was taking a risk that the kids would enjoy it, never having done it before.  Maybe next summer we will do just a bit of camping, though probably in a cabin, so I'll investigate that, though I'd like to stay fairly close to the city, since long drives are generally not a good idea.  It wasn't a bad summer (aside from the extreme heat), though it wasn't a particularly productive one either.  I guess that is kind of par for the course.

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