Tuesday, July 21, 2009

there's a steady rain here, that started earlier today; it was a drizzle, but has gotten stronger and steadier. it's also a cool spell, unusually cool for july, when you can actually go outside, stand out there without feeling the heat pressing against you and making you squirm looking for an aircon button to crank. it's cool enough to actually open up the windows at night, and let the cool air find the bottoms of the floor beneath the bed while we tuck up under blankets. It feels like fall, or maybe august in minnesota, but it's a trick; the trees might be fooled and change their color, but we know we're probably in for a few more months of heat. the dogs have been barking; maybe they want out now while they still have a chance, or maybe they're barking because they want to hear their own voice; they're comfortable in their new home, they know we'll jump, they're jerking our chain. we built a small dog fence out back, but didn't quite finish it when my mom arrived from new mexico; every time we'd have two people on it, doing something useful, the young boys would yell out or demand attention in some way. everyone's a bit spoiled around here; if it was the olden days, the dogs would have even helped make the fence- that or wait around for the dog days, and take a long nap.

we got squash out of the garden this year, squash, cherry tomatoes and basil; this is a big improvement over the last few years, in which we got nothing. we're still not so good at it, but we found that if you put the garden right up against your door and window, it makes the deer a little hesitant, at least in the crucial months. at work the secretary brought in huge home-grown tomatoes, but said no zucchini this year, since they learned how to cook them with onions; at her home, they're eating all the zucchini before there's any extra. I have to find these onions, i guess- maybe it's those green kinds that you can pick right out of the yard, and which give your mouth a taste for quite a while after you eat them. i've never had them cooked, much less with yellow squash.

mom had a good visit; she saw so much green, she could hardly stand it. i guess in new mexico if you even see a green license plate, that's your quota for a year, but here, there are trees and grass lawns all over the place, people like us have them even if we don't water, which we don't. it's a green place with green things shooting up and greening all over the place, and though she also saw an enormous amount of upturned tree-stumps, most of which have just become part of the background for us by now, what really impressed her was the rain forest, a massive wet jungle moving in on us from all directions at all times. and it's not even mowing season; it's let up a little, though this rain tonight will surely get the ball rolling a little. all weekend, at the castle park, at the local park, at the state park, you could stand outside; you could feel a breeze; you could experience summer as it's supposed to be. if global warming could only manage to keep it this way, i'd have no complaint.

in international news, a friend turned 45 in tucson; two are moving to doha qatar; two more to the uae; one coming out of the hospital; a daughter got published; various people are traveling who knows where. i know this from facebook, but i keep forgetting to check google, or keep up in any way with international news. with my four classes, twenty hours, more when i'm well and home; rowdy boys & work on house, etc., i just forget. I go days without checking my e-mail; I forget many of the irons i have in the fire.

so, maybe i should write them down. here goes a list; in the spirit of my wife, who says: tell everyone; that will create the obligation. publicize the band; it's getting bigger, and changing. do something useful with the parsley sagebrush site. make posters and pop art. get the castle park calendar organized and approach the owner of the park; maybe they'll agree to a promotion or at least a nice product. put pile of leaves, the newest collection of stories, on kindle. put the walmart stories on there too. remind my readers that faithful fans can keep reading most of this stuff at the writing blog even though that blog may become a little more hidden, accessible mostly from here, while a general advertisement goes up for any of the work i manage to market successfully. these two sets are a good place to start; what i need, first, is a tlevs.com site which will show all of what i have currently, and which will hopefully collect traffic & look beautiful.

finally, i have an idea for the autobiography, the one that's linked below, on the template, you can find it if you look. just passing through, it's called; right now, every other one is a traveling story; the others are autobiographical, organized by place. it's been dormant for a while, as has been my poetry blog, and even the pop art, but, here goes: i'm thinking of writing about teaching as a personal thing. what about it caught my fancy, way back in graduate school; why i stick with it, even now, as i'm over twenty hours; as i'm drained, as i get a little desperate to show all of myself, teach as much as i can, milk it for what it's worth. i'm teaching a lot of toefl these days; got cornered a time or two; had to explain why we do what we do. it's like explaining why we drive the way we do. you wanted a reason? i get down into the center of my mind, watch it, and show my students what's happening. wish i could do the same with a car engine. but it's not necessary, as long as i can walk to work.

the poetry, the poetry, well there is some, this from the d.r., believe it or not i still write it, mostly when i'm traveling, or stuck in some line at the pharmacy or the dentist. makes 'em jump, when i write haiku, because they assume i'm taking notes about how long the wait is; but, in fact, if i get haiku in my brain as i'm getting my teeth drilled, it all comes out better,

as for the pop art, i'm coming to the realization that my photo-hosting site really does not want me linking from there...this calls for another plan. a slight reorganization. a self-analysis. i'm gonna give myself a good talking-to, as dylan would say. but, after i go to bed. it's too late, and i'm too tired. chou.

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