Same ol' seasonal themes afoot: restless energy, the escape-to-nature impulse... It's almost the end of July, and I feel like I've only very recently started to make the most of summer. Truth be told, I've been way too busy with work, way too busy stressing out and not sleeping and making nine versions of the same to-do list in order to absorb and enjoy this time of year on the level I'd like (aka ground level: intensive and up close). Recently, though, I've been able to catch up and so lighten up, to dive deeper into calm's clear pool.
Got to hear Rhoda, former college adviser and ongoing source of inspiration, read from her NYT-bestselling book. Got to play in a beach ultimate tournament, which wore me out but rekindled my love of the sport. Went to the annual Pfork Fest and caught up with old friends. The whole fam visited. Ben visited. Played tennis. Transplanted sunflowers and pulled up weeds.
How are things with you?
Chicago Sandblast at Montrose Beach.
A merch table luau of sorts.
The nice dudes of Bear in Heaven being interviewed backstage by The Arts of Life Band.
HP in Millennium Park!
A secret fire pit on Lake Michigan.
A secret Dan in the nature preserve.
Feigning impatience with the photo sesh.
The corn is not yet high as an elephant's eye. But close.
Book Reportlette: Just read Bill Callahan's new book, Letters to Emma Bowlcut, a slim "novelette" that opens and folds in epistolary bursts of everyday observation, existential insight, and well-timed humor. Set against a desert backdrop, the humor is appropriately dry. There's negative space amid narrative bursts (like the desert, too, or the distances between people) and a seamless meandering between the hyper-specific and the dreamily vague (the way of all good letters).
Did I mention its appealing lack of question marks.
...You leave and return so easily. I admire the cadence of it. I want to go out more but a nation's army needs me to wash 50,000 blood-spattered uniforms first. In the river, on a rock.
...If there is one thing I have it is a buoyant, unreasonable hope about things I haven't experienced.
...It crossed my mind that all my letters are about me and not you. I would hope that you pay me the same respect. —L. to E. B.
July 26, 2010
July 6, 2010
Back from Independence Day wkend: Wisconsin edition. A spur-o-the-moment trip featuring small towns, small-scale fireworks shows, inland lakes, and a lakeside tiki bar. (Americanacabana?) Also: local restaurants, a fireman's picnic, a soda fountain, and tennis. I'm just as glad as anyone that we Declared our Independence and went on to defeat the Redcoats in a revolutionary way, but being used to Chicago's bombastic celebrations, it was nice to have the whole holiday dialed down a notch.*
Sheboygan, WI's fine dining experience. (Apparently, no one dines fine on July 3.)
Local band The Screaming Cucumbers tackle an Alanis cover.
Cheesy glass sculpture at Blue Harbor Resort. (We stayed at La Quinta.)
Shops in Elkhart Lake.
Elkhart Lake was once the home of Camp Harand, a theatre camp Dan went to as a kid. It's also a road-racing destination and a tucked-away resort town.
According to Dan, Gessert's soda fountain is unchanged since the late '70s.
The lady behind the counter said she'd been there since the '70s.
Locals dancing at the fireman's picnic.
Osthoff Resort—where the camp used to be.
Lots of landscaping going on here now.
*I kept saying stuff like this throughout the weekend, and D. kept saying I sounded like a lady from a New Yorker cartoon—going on about the "rustic charms" and appealing "quaintness" of life outside "THE BIG CITY." Haha. Who am I kidding? Chicago's Armageddon-ish Fourth experience can be pretty great, too. (Even now, a few doors down, someone's lighting off the rest of their fireworks.)
Posted by Laura