Summer stretches before me straight and flat as a North Dakota highway. I feel pretty much like jumping in the backseat and taking a snooze until the scenery improves. I’ve always had a problem with summer. While the other kids were exuberant about free days of swimming and playing, I was faced with the enforced isolation of Bleak House. Now the countdown to summer stirs vestigial anxiety.
This summer I put the girls in a summer camp at an indoor rock climbing facility. Yesterday DramaQueen showed me how she can belay Firecracker, while Firecracker scooted up the wall like a little monkey. I imagine myself clinging forlornly while someone tries to talk me down. A number of dogs hang about, some of them as large as ponies, I swear. DramaQueen tells me they are assistive dogs trained to help climbers in distress. Firecracker loves them. I stooped to pet one of them and Abby grinned up at me, “He smells like dog.”
I used my birthday money to buy a digital reader. Any purchase over $100 makes me nervous. What if something better comes along? What if I didn’t do enough research? I finally settled on a Sony Daily Edition, but of course I’m still looking it over anxiously. There’s a bit of glare – will that bother me? B&N has better free books – would the Nook be better? But I don’t like the Nook’s interface. Still, you can switch fonts on a Nook. And the Kindle, well, I can’t check out books from the library on a Kindle. And on it goes. Meanwhile I’ve found the places to download books in the public domain, and that makes me very happy. Some of them are out of print and too eccentric to be on a library shelf in our little suburb. And then I found a writer named Cory Doctorow, who releases digital editions of his books for free on the same day as the print editions. I have not yet read any of his works, but I found that he has a daughter named Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow. Show off.
Now, for some music. One of my current favorite songs: