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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Colm Toibin on a Nice Spring Day

A beautiful spring day outside as the girls and I started out for our walk. It was sunny, with hardly any clouds in the sky, and just a slight breeze. I love the breeze in the Mid-Columbia area - it always feels so clean and refreshing. Our atmosphere here isn't as dry and baking as it was when I was a child 30 years (!!) ago, but it's still better than most of this country.

Unfortunately, I fear climate change is upon us even here. I left the house at a quarter after nine this morning and it was not yet sixty degrees. This is a good temperature for April or early May, but certainly not June - and four days from the Summer Solstice. It is usually getting quite warm here this time of  year. The hills are yellow and brown, not green and lush. The fire hazard is up. I am not complaining - I like the temperature and the nice spring day. But, it is abnormal. Is it global warming/climate change? Or is it a more recent event? Like La Nina or the Icelandic volcano with the un-pronounceable name.

Today was a day to walk down to the library. It's actually a lovely walk passing lovely yards, boys practicing football without gear on, and a baseball game on the way back up via Olympia Street. I walk down Garfield Hill, but I go up Olympia. Garfield has a very steep grade, and Olympia is less steep, though it is still a great workout. The round trip is 4.8 miles. Walking down Garfield is a nice cool walk. It is a very leafy hill, and there is a channel to walk by where run-off water flows.

The chip-and-seal work to repave Garfield is finished, and most of the tar smell is dissipated. The smell of tar has always made my stomach turn. School is out - so there are less teenagers about in some ways. We walk down past the high school - GO LIONS!! - on our way to the library. Unfortunately, the girls get very nervous around anyone under the age of 40. Though, even with school out - Dayton - the street in front of the high school - seemed much busier than normal.

I tie the girls up at the bike rack in front of the library and I even gave them some water. Why they are always so hesitant to drink water while they are away from home always flummoxes me. I put it down to stress and neuroses. (I don't think we've ever had dogs that didn't have some neurosis or other.) They just are too worried to drink.

I love libraries. Like I love bookstores. Hell, I just love books! Our library system is a wonderful place to get videos and books. Today, I picked up 4 books and 5 DVDs. One of the books I picked up was Skippy Dies: A Novel by Paul Murray. I've been meaning to pick this up for a while. It was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize - one of the most prestigious of book awards. I have already read another book that was shortlisted: Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue. (I couldn't believe that Room didn't win. It was incredible.)

One of the DVDs I picked up was the film The Tourist starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. This movie got really bad reviews. I really like Angelina Jolie and what red-blooded American woman doesn't like Johnny Depp. So, I've decided to take a chance on it.

On the way back, we noticed a cream colored Husky or Malamute type dog and a Pug running about together. I didn't notice a collar on either. Some people are very irresponsible. Not because these dogs were aggressive. No, they seemed to be dogs like from some Disney or other animated film. They seemed very happy-go-lucky. They didn't mess with girls at all. We ran into them a second time on 1st Street. No, the problem is that, if they get picked up or - God forbid - hurt, they may never get back with their owner. Of course, they might be chipped. But the info attached to the chip must be current and accurate. We discovered this when we found a dog trapped in our back yard. (Though, luckily, she did have a collar and we managed to track down the owner via the rabies tags.)

I don't go out on walks without my mp3 player. I listen to podcasts that I download - mainly from NPR or the BBC - and I listen to audiobooks too from Audible or from my library. Today, I listened to a free download of the first story in Colm Toibin's book The Empty Family: Stories. First impressions are that this story is very atmospheric and dark. In some ways it was even sinister. This could be because of the narration. The download was narrated by the author himself and had a very Boris Karloff or Vincent Price air to it. I'm waiting for some sinister occurrence or strange ending. (He really should do narrations of Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft for Halloween collections!)

On the way back up Olympia Street, we passed several signs for yard sales, and a couple of Little League games. As we walked the home stretch down 27th Avenue, I thought about this blog. I could write up thoughts of my walks. Things the girls and I saw. Maybe I could use the blog to expand my writing and get back in practice. Have a good weekend!

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