My Summer Vacation

Here in Athens, a dramatic increase in local traffic signals the end of the summer. Public schools started a week ago. College students who live off campus moved into newly rented apartments in early August. The opening of the dorms last week drew most the rest to town. Classes start tomorrow.

When I was a kid, school never started before the last week of August or even into September. At least that’s what I remember. The early August end of summer leaves a lot of folks my age feeling at least a little short-changed.

For students in every grade, writing an essay about summer activities was a perennial first week of school activity. Most students groaned when the teacher announced the assignment. Some, like me, enjoyed the exercise–especially if my summer had been especially interesting. Given the season, for today’s post I thought a review of my summer activities would be appropriate.

I kicked off my summer with new hardwood flooring. The once-white carpet lasted twelve years and looked good for maybe six. Blame two indoor-only cats (Pukie and Piss Willy), a collection of over-sized houseplants (in leaky pots), and two chihuahua puppies. I did.

Here at Casa Rupured, we eliminated the deficit and passed a balanced budget amendment back in March. If we could have squeezed one more year out of the carpet, we would have gone to the beach for a week or two. But the carpet had to go. Hence, no trip to the beach.

We did join my partner’s family at a lovely cabin on Lake Keowee in the South Carolina mountains. I paid eleven dollars for a fishing license and caught my first fish in probably thirty years (a four-inch sunfish).  The highlight of the trip was being pulled by a boat, ski-like, in a big inner tube–a first for me that I would happily repeat. A couple of weeks later, we went kayaking on the Broad River.

Otherwise, one of the hottest summers on record kept us inside. We watched the first four seasons of Dexter and anxiously await the release of the fifth season on DVD this week.  Dexter is an interesting and suspense-filled show. Then we burned through the first six seasons of Weeds–another great show with quirky plots and an ever-changing cast of interesting characters.

In terms of self-improvement, I started Weight Watchers and have ridden my bike more than 500 miles. So far I’ve lost a bit more than twenty pounds.  Were it not for my ice cream addiction, I’d have lost more. I need to lose at least twenty more pounds before my October high school reunion.

My writing career is still very much a work in progress. I ended my first blog, The Crotchety Old Man and started this, my third. The second was a short-lived but popular blog called The Adventures of Tico and Toodles.  Despite my desire to finish my first work of fiction over the summer, Addicted is maybe halfway finished. The memoir I wrote last year has now been rejected by the agent of my dreams and my first choice publisher. About a hundred friends and family members tell me they enjoyed reading Glass Houses. Now I’m waiting to hear a professional editor’s suggestions to increase my chances for success.

I would have done more, but I started playing Words with Friends on my cell phone. At the moment I have fourteen games going. Unlike Farmville and similar games, at least Words with Friends is educational–or at least, that’s what I tell myself as I try to come up with a high-scoring word, here in…

My Glass House