(I never have any good ideas for blog post titles, which is why they are always so inscrutable and senseless.)
I am looking forward to being with the family this week, but I also feel a lot of anxiety and sadness about the pending visit. I keep crying in public when people ask me about my grandparents (so, fair warning if you see me). I cried yesterday at work, in our department meeting, when our boss asked us to go around and say what we were thankful for. “My family,” I said. “And how dependable… and loving… they are…” And then I dissolved into ugly tears over free bagels.
The US political field is so ugly right now, and I am so ashamed of the surge of hatred, fear, and bigotry that the GOP candidates have inspired among the public. Whenever a candidate says anything, I visit FactCheck.org, which has become one of my sole barometers on the validity of political pronouncements. I have been astonished at how many blatant lies are circulating.
I am thankful for
the opportunity to be with Mom, Dad, Kelsey, Alex, Sam, Ma-Maw, and Da-Dan this week;
starting a Five-Year Diary;
cataloging photo archives;
my calligraphy studio;
kind colleagues and perceptive managers;
This American Life keeping us awake and inspired on road trips;
dogs who patiently wait outside the door while I nap off a migraine;
Julia Louis-Dreyfus; and
a clean house.
Hope those of you in the US have a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.
We had a wonderfully productive and busy weekend. We spend too much money at Lowe’s, now that we have this prodigious garden, but it always feels justified somehow. (More things need to be grown! Grow all the things!) We bought those bright red chairs on Saturday and they were worth every penny; that’s my new summer reading spot. Pyrrha seems to like the chairs, too, even though they look suspiciously tasty.
We went to this event with Pyrrha’s rescue at a local vineyard on Sunday and sat under a hot tent and sweated with a pack of 10 or more German shepherds. What is it about seeing a bunch of dogs of the same breed together that is so thrilling? I don’t know, but it was fun and Pyrrha seemed to recognize her former foster pack.
P. is also starting to fall in love with Guion, too. It took her some time, but I think they will be inseparable very soon. (Just so long as he doesn’t replace me in her hierarchy of affections, I’m cool with it.)
In my annual summer tradition, I’ve started the fifth and sixth volumes of Proust, TheCaptive and The Fugitive. It’s a little hard to believe that this is my fifth year with Proust and that I shall nobly lay him aside next year. (What will happen in years seven and eight? Infinite Jest and then The Pale King. Why, yes, I do like to plan ahead.) I like to talk about Proust a lot, especially in the summers when he is thick in my brain, but I shouldn’t. He’s easily the most pretentious author to name-drop. He’s almost never appropriate conversational fodder. Poor Prousty. (Meanwhile, I think “Marcel” would be a nice name for a bi-color or all-black German shepherd. Next dog?)