Sunday, August 30, 2009

My greenest friends, Ric and Jenn.

Cool segment here from the local Traverse City tv news, which did a piece on house addition Ric and Jenn built out of bottles and logs they pulled from a swamp. In the photo here, they're on Torch Lake enjoying their first voyage on a sailboat they restored this summer. Two of the absolute nicest people I've ever known.

Ric is one of my absolute oldest friends ever, going back to Marshall, Michigan and the days of riding bigwheels up and down Mulberry Street and sleds into trees on "Dead Man's Hill." Do you want to hear the story of why they call it "Dead Man's Hill"? Okay, here it is: once, there was a dead guy there. That was the story passed down to us, at least. Chilling, isn't it? I still carry a scar on my forehead from one of its trees. To this day, my parents won't let me sled head-first.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last day before school day trip to an ACRES preserve.

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new favorite sandwich

ham, tomato, and butter. O, and sardines with mustard and tabasco.

Thank you, Mark Bittman.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

I don't have a ton of regrets in life, apart from not asking Amy Timmer to slow skate at our 5th grade skating party back in 1981. A close second would have to be not thinking of owning this bike when our chilluns were little enough to use it. I am almost tempted to go for the third kid just for the opportunity.

What a sweet way to ride that would be. If I ever saw myself owning a tiny dog, maybe one of those could fit there, but that's not likely. Maybe a terrier when I'm older.

From the great Detroit-life blog Sweet Juniper.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Left the dog out in a rainstorm today. oops.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Make magazine shows up in my mailbox every once in awhile, though I don't ever remember subscribing to it. Still, I'm happy to get it. I've never made anything from it, but I've noticed a momentum building, an urge to at least try. Last month, for example, I almost tried out their design for a cool vaccuum extraction coffee maker out of test tubes and stuff. I even went so far as to hint to our school science department head that if there were any unused glassware cluttering a storeroom that I would take it off of his hands. Then I lost interest or got busy or something. I forget.

But this month, I finally found the ambition to complete one of their challenging projects, mainly because all the supplies I needed were within ten feet of me at the time I read the article. So here it is, my first Make object: the DIY ipod speakers.
They actually work, too (kinda)! Yes, those are paper cups with holes in the bottom.

Maybe I could start making and selling them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Permanent Camping"

Small houses. We were at Fort Michilimackinac up north last week, looking at the spartan quarters of some Jesuit missionary, a bed and a Bible kind of place, and I go to Catherine "Do you ever fantasize about how great it would be if all you owned was--" "Yes," she said.

Friday, August 14, 2009

moral tales

Jerome in Claire's Knee

One thing I have been doing to hold onto the feel of summer in the last days of my vacation is re-watch two of my favorite of Rohmer's "moral tales": Claire's Knee and Pauline at the Beach.

It is strong medicine for me, mainly because they're set near French beaches and involve people doing very little but casually drifting together and apart, sitting in gardens and airy, sparsely-furnished cottages, maybe going boating. They make summer
seem unassailable by any thoughts of whatever and wherever it is they are summering from. They're like a seasonal pornography--the objectification of summer.

Rohmer's camera work is perfect for it all, too, full of long takes, long, static shots that somehow slow your breath and that I have resolved to incoroporate more into my own life. I'm not sure if that means staring without blinking or how exactly it will work, but I think it is worth trying.


Also exciting is that my French is improving from watching these. I still only understand about one word out of every five minutes or so, but I can read the credits in French with a passable, but still ridiculous, of course, accent, and that is a major step for me. I would give anything to be as bad at French as I am at Spanish.

Next up from Netflix: Summer Heights High, to help me return to school mode.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our city at night.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Whitefish Point, U.P.
Two days ago we're swimming in Lake Superior at the tip of the U.P., and now it's Ninety-Something in Indiana. No fair. When you drive, you should only drive north. Even in the winter I think that.
Had a nice, minimally internetted week. No matter how much sunscreen I put on, my body still wants to be tan. No matter how much of Mansfield Park I read, Fanny remains a cipher, or does she?
I slept a lot, too. I mean, if you don't sleep, you are wasting that dry Michigan breeze that is pushing the wave sounds through your open window.
Now it's time to start becoming teacher-man again, a persona that I hope will have more than a passing resemblance to summer-man, but it will be a challenge. Wish me luck.
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