Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This morning when I got off the train, at about 7:15 a.m., it was already apparent that it was going to be another stultifyingly hot and humid day typical of summers in the nation’s capital swamp. (Neveryoumind the fact that summer itself is still technically three weeks away.) I’m not necessarily proud of this but I do admit that I am accustomed to certain creature comforts including central air conditioning, and I was counting down every step between the climate-controlled VRE car and the similarly civilized Big Gray. About halfway along my walk I passed a gentleman in business attire standing on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette. I can recall few times in the past nearly-seven years when I’ve been happier to have quit smoking. The thought of having to choose between forsaking A/C to stand outside in the swelter of midday and forgoing the need for a nicotine fix clawing at the inside of my skull is pretty repellent, and thankfully moot.

Seriously, number one reason to stop smoking: it is a super-annoying habit to maintain
I got plenty of sweltering in over the weekend, anyway. My wife and I ended up front-loading the weekend with socializing, all of which was fun and which we were happy to be a part of, but all of which was also dispensed with by noon on Sunday, which gave us the back half of the long weekend to simply relax, recoup our strength for the coming week, and generally take care of any household business that needed doing in the context of a long, uninterrupted stretch of time at home. The whole rationale makes sense on paper, but in practice I put myself in the position of mowing the lawn and death-spraying the weeds at noon on Monday, which was basically the absolute peak of the weekend’s hot weather. The job got done, though, and in hindsight I am choosing to believe that’s all that matters.

Speaking of getting jobs done, one random thing that had been bugging me more or less the entire time we’ve been living in the new house was that we had moved and unpacked an assortment of framed photos and paintings and prints and so forth but hadn’t managed to get around to hanging them on the walls. Bare walls are an inexplicable pet peeve of mine. (Rambling yet hopefully illustrative tangent: when I was a kid we would spend maybe a week each summer, tops, visiting my grandparents at the beach. My cousins, on the other hand, would often spend a month or more at the beach, with their parents renting an entire house for July or something like that. And my cousins – one male and one female – would use part of the entertainment allowance to buy newsstand copies of Tiger Beat or Hit Parader or whathaveyou and tear out the pin-ups of dreamy hunks or gnarly bands and put them up on the otherwise bare bedroom walls of the rental house. This made complete and perfect sense to me at the time and also still makes perfect sense right now as I type this.) Maybe because of the concentrated downtime, maybe because it came in the wake of pleasant diversions, but this weekend my wife and I were finally able to get some things hung on various vertical surfaces throughout our domicile, and agree to a general plan for hanging the remainder in the not too distant future. And there was much rejoicing, in my de-peeved mind at any rate.

But it’s back to the grind for now, always a bit of a rough transition when the return doesn’t coincide with a Monday, but that’s a trade-off I’m willing to take to get a foreshortened week.

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