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» Tuesday, July 14, 2009Cabbages and Kings
By the time I was in my late teens I had a considerably large collection of Readers Digests. We were getting them by subscription from the late 60s and every time I went to yard sales or flea markets I bought old ones; you could get some for a dime apiece. Eventually I had a collection from the late 50s all the way through the 1970s.
(After I left home Mom had them up in the attic until the one day she called me and said she was trying to clean up there. Could she get rid of the Digests? Oh, how I didn't want her to! There were lovely articles on the space program, and Corey Ford's wonderful pieces, and marvelous book sections, like The Triumph of Janis Babson and On This Night and Time Out for Happiness (about the Gilbreths of Cheaper by the Dozen). But at that time I didn't have anywhere to keep them, so I told her to go ahead. Only to find out later she tossed my Readers Digests and kept stuff like six dozen drinking glasses and old sheets with holes in them. Sigh.)
One of my favorite "Humor in Uniform" shorts from one of those issues was the story of a man who had been sent to a remote Pacific island. It was a dot in the ocean, with nothing to do there when you weren't on duty. One day he took a walk on the beach and wondered what time it was. He came upon another sailor who was wistfully staring out to sea and asked him the time. "July," the sailor said mournfully.
Oh, how I relate! July. Mid-July, in the midst of the soul-searing sadness that is summer. From May through September all I want to do is hibernate, to escape from the sweltering sun that gives me headaches and rashes (Gawd, my right shoulder itches) and the claustrophobic stuffy cubicle that takes over my life from June through mid-September. End-of-fiscal-year and summer seem to go together in more ways than one.
I am literally homesick for fall, breezes, cool air outside and cool blankets inside. I have brought home a nice box so I can dismember my fall magazines and toss the recipes and the cute kid stories and keep the fall scenes to dip into when I need them for refreshment. Maybe I'll burn the gingerbread candle tomorrow while I try to determine just how many advertisements I need to do (you have to advertise procurements over $25,000). I think there's ten. A long, long trail a'winding indeed.
At least there are "hibernation breaks." We had one for Timegate, and the unfortunately wonky weekend in Sevierville, and the nice cookout/fireworks launch for the Fourth. And coming up are Jen and Meg's visit in three weeks and later Dragoncon followed by the Yellow Daisy Festival and a Blue Ribbon Affair, and then, maybe, please God, a little bit of cool?
In the meantimeHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tomorrow night with friendsbut still, how much nicer it would be if it wasn't summer!
In the meantime I came upon something called Moonwalk One on the NASA channel tonight, from 1970, narrated by Laurence Luckinbill. Really trippy special...not just moon footage, but film of the crowds watching the moon landing, commentary by ordinary people, footage of celebratory parades, and then a rather lyrical ending about the analysis of moonrocks and where we belong in the universe, accompanied by otherworldly music akin to The Andromeda Strain (the real one, not the remake!). Some neat film following, and there's supposed to be an Apollo 11 special on later on GPTV. Hope to see lots of cool moon specials in the next few days to celebrate the 40th anniversary, and I am reading Andrew Smith's Moondust as well.