Saturday, July 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes, Heat Wave Edition

You can click on the image to see where this whole thing started, and although it's clearly meant to be done on Fridays, it's an awful fun thing to blog with... thanks conversiondiary!

1) I finished my ecclesiology class yesterday, which turned out to be as great as everyone had told me it would be. My professor was amazing, and although it was physically trying to sit still and focus for 3 hours in the early morning for full-on lecture, I learned a LOT and this class will be one that changes my ministry.

2) Did I mention it's been wicked hot this week? 106 degrees yesterday, which is fairly unusual around here, although I feel like we do have a day or two of this every Summer. Yesterday was, I think, the peak, and walking outside felt like a slap in the face. We are fortunate to have TWO air conditioners in our apartment, one in the bedroom and the other in the living room, and as long as we don't use them both on high at the same time, we won't blow a fuse. Hey, that's just the kind of sacrifice that this kind of crisis calls for.
Really the worst part of it is that the thought of turning on an oven or standing over a stove or grill is just too much. We've been eating out a lot, which is no good for our budget or our waistlines.

3) We have had guests in the house most of the week, which is also unusual for us- we do not have a guest room so anyone willing to stay over here is relegated to a couch or air mattress, and must be willing to share said spaces with cats. We've never had a bad guest, despite the limitations of our place, and we love having company. I always wanted to have a place where people would come and visit and, I think I've mentioned this on the blog before, it gives me a weird thrill when we have something someone needs, or have plenty of food and drink to serve, and when people seem comfortable in my home, I feel real pride. Even better if they can stand some clutter here and there.

4) The Tour De France, my favorite part of July (outside of all the other great things to love bout July) is coming to a close. I've seen at least part of every day's race, and love it just as much as I have since I discovered it. I found it probably 7 years ago, back in the Lance Armstrong years, back when my work schedule started in the afternoon, a Summer when I just couldn't take Regis and Kelly anymore. I love that the Tour is ancient, has all sorts of unwritten ruled and traditions, and that the commentators are so catechetical. They teach about how the drafting and slip-streams work, and how the teams work together, and about things like "natural breaks" and feeding zones that the cyclists do. It's fascinating! The fact that they need each other to succeed is fascinating to me- in the last parts of the race, a cyclist will turn to another and urge him to take over the front position so he can "take a break" from pulling all the weight. One good example of what I mean is this: early in the Tour this year, a cyclist crashed and broke his pelvis when he flew into a deep ditch. His teammates stopped to carry him up the hill and to the ambulance. But the cool thing is, up ahead, the group of cyclers (the peleton!) heard about the crash, and stopped competing until the teammates caught up to the group. They just eased off and slowed down until they could get back in. Nice, no? I like the idea that the group of teams, all competing against each other, still take care of each other and rely on each other to succeed.

5) Our garden is still awesome, and I will post some pics today- we've gotten 5 or 6 cucumbers, not counting the one I left out there so the bug that had already started to eat it, could go ahead and finish. I have 13-15 little tomatoes, and a spaghetti squash! The carrots look awesome... and I've already pulled up a couple of onions, which were sweet and didn't even make me teary when I butchered them up. Woo gardening!!

6) Last night I went into Boston to take Scott and a friend in to the Red Sox game. We took the train in, and had a beer at the Bleacher Bar, which I highly recommend. It's built right in to Fenway, in the space of the old away team batting cage, and it has a big garage door that opens right out onto the field. You can watch batting practice and the game from there, but there are NO photographs allowed. This is more of a tragedy because over the bar, the men's room has a clear glass window over what I'm told are the urinals. From the bar you can look up and see people's sheepish or gleeful faces, and sometimes they wave... and sometimes they wave both hands. Impressive.

7) I'll have to come and finish later, I'm off to Mass... just you wait, it'll be great!
(time elapsed: two hours)
...I'm back, we went to a parish in our town that had no air conditioning and a nice enough but seriously long-winded visiting priest. I mean come on, when it's 97 degrees IN the church, you've got to have some MERCY for crying out loud.
Anyway, here's a picture of our friend Greg in that infamous men's room, waving his hat at us through the window. He's not tall. And you're not supposed to take pictures in there!!

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