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04 July 2015

How are you spending the 4th July weekend? [More:]
Obviously, it's not a holiday here but summer has arrived with a vengeance. Temperatures around 32C (90F) during the day and 21C (70F) at night. We don't have air-con in our homes here and the only a/c units you can buy are huge, unwieldy, expensive, noisy things. So I have the patio door open (curtains closed), the back door open (with one of those plastic strip curtains to keep flies out) and a fan. That works just fine. I hate hot weather, being very fair-skinned, and I stay out of the sun as much as possible.

At night I have a fan sweeping the bed. Lucy and I battle for space and she usually ends up lying against me to get the full sweep of the breeze. So she gets the benefit of the fan and I get 10lbs of fur lying on me.

Today I'll be working some of my overtime cases. I'd planned on finishing them tomorrow but our IT system is down for maintenance on Sunday.

If it's cooler this evening I may do a little garden tidy-up. The sunshine, followed by an hour of torrential rain every few days (our weather pattern for the last 10 days or so) has wreaked havoc on my garden. Weeds everywhere. I'm loathe to put too much effort into it as I'm having it landscaped later this summer, but it looks a mess at the moment.

I'll probably have a drive out to Harlow on Sunday morning to have a browse round Matalan and TK Maxx. I need to do some boring stuff like add air to the tyres on the car, put petrol in it, buy toilet paper and paper towels. Ah, such a glamorous life I lead.

I have some leftover Chinese food for dinner, and I'll probably make some falafel tomorrow. It's too hot to think about cooking.

(Interesting factoid: In the UK it's TK Maxx, not TJ Maxx. When the company was first launching in the UK 20-odd years ago, another business, TJ Hughes, objected to TJ Maxx using that name, as they thought people might get confused. The two companies sold similar things - clothing, household goods, etc. - and so TJ Maxx agreed to change its name for the UK market. Unfortunately TJ Hughes didn't survive the recession and it closed all its stores about 5 years ago.)
Mowing the lawn.
We never do anything special for the 4th, really.
posted by Thorzdad 04 July | 08:21
This year not much. We went to a cook out last night, and we are hosting a cookout today. We've got sparklers and snappers for the little ones, but we are skipping the fireworks this year. We are often at the beach for the Fourth, where my in-laws live, but they have a bunch of company this year so we decided to wait until later on this month to visit. It's not like we will be going in the ocean, what with the seven shark attacks we've had in the past month. I commented last night that the studio promoting the Jaws fortieth anniversary this summer went overboard when they hired an edgy marketing firm that dumped all the aggressive sharks in the water along the Carolina coastline, to scare people back into the movie theaters.
Nobody I know is letting their children in the water this year. It's pretty freaky.
posted by msali 04 July | 09:40
Yesterday we went food & plant shopping, and hit the pool. Today we went to the town parade, which was fun. Sadly it's too cloudy/rainy for another pool day. Wish we had local friends so we could BBQ or something together. No live fireworks for us tonight because the kids don't do well after normal bedtime hours. We will watch on TV instead! Church tomorrow. I also have a paper due in 8 days I have to get started :X
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 July | 10:57
Yesterday I read Doctor Glas. During the breaks, when I got tired of reading that particular book, I would browse some of the nonfiction books in my expansive reading queue, such as Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus and Indonesia, etc.

I listened to Saigon Rock & Soul, a collection of South Vietnamese pop tunes from 1968-1974, a Cambodian version of Sugar Sugar and some old-timey Columbian cumbia.

Also read a couple of longform articles from the Guardian, that I had been putting off:

Classics for the People -- why we should all learn from the Ancient Greeks.

From Left Bank to left behind: where have the great French thinkers gone?

The rest of the weekend will be pretty much the same. Last night I found a copy of William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley in my bookpiles, which suits me pretty well. If I manage to throw myself out of bed early enough on Sunday, I'll go to the gym.
posted by jason's_planet 04 July | 11:37
We have the same weather here on the other side of the North Sea Channel. Not the kind of temperatures we deal very well with.

The whole city is besieged by the Tour de France. Combined with the high temperatures it's a bit of a thing.
posted by jouke 04 July | 13:10
Went on a ducky tour of the city yesterday with some friends and then went and ate way too much sushi. The neighborhood has a block party BBQ on the summer holidays so we'll go to that this afternoon and hopefully we'll head up to the near suburbs to catch a free outdoor show by the symphony tomorrow night.

Right now I'm sitting on a glider on the side porch blasting the Drive By Truckers with the ceiling fans keeping me cool.
posted by octothorpe 04 July | 14:17
We usually go to a parade, sometimes to a festival with antique car shows and eating and vendors and so forth, sometimes to a historical reenactment, and then catch fireworks display on TV in the evening. But this is a very quiet weekend as I fly out on my Holocaust trip tomorrow. Yesterday was paying bills and organizing my packing and watching the final 3 episodes of Breaking Bad and today was breakfast out and then lots of packing for reals. We're catching a baseball game on TV now and this evening I think we are drugging the dog, who hates fireworks, then early bed.
posted by bearwife 04 July | 17:51
The sun came out and we did make the pool! It was empty which is always so relaxing. Got a chance to chat up the manager a bit; I have an interest in joining the governing board once grad school is done.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 July | 18:08
I'm going to work and recovering from work each day. Totally avoiding the beach and tourist meccas.

Coming home from work this afternoon, I went through a crossroad that thankfully has a signal light; the cross road leading to the beach bridge was backed up for miles.
posted by mightshould 04 July | 18:52
Fireworks Friday night, then parade on Saturday. Today I am trying to convince myself that I don't need to mow the lawn yet.
posted by JanetLand 05 July | 09:24
Had a doctor's appointment Friday morning, then drove to National Airport to fly to Montreal and then Toronto. Got to Toronto at around 1030pm, picked up by an American friend from the internet and got Tim Horton's and then went to stay with a Canadian friend from the internet and watched movies. Saturday another Canadian friend from the internet appeared and we got tattoos and gelato and watched more movies. I stayed up with one of the Canadians until she poured me into a cab at 430am so I could fly back to National at 930am today. Drove home, showered, ate McDonalds, and then overslept and missed my dance performance.
posted by sperose 05 July | 17:25
I was working on the 4th, actually, being the busy season for my job. Today I ventured to a Wildlife Management area I've never gone to before. My first 15 minutes there and I had a really neat, close encounter with a Black Snake, young, only about three feet long. Lots of different pond flowers, and the weather wasn't too hot. I avoid the beach on holidays anyway.
posted by redvixen 05 July | 17:44
Watched fireworks from a dozen different towns at once from the balcony of our apartment (23rd floor, near the GW in the Bronx). Very cool experience. They just kept coming and coming, like multiple orgasms. Could only see the city fireworks a little, though, since they were on the East River side, but, with any luck (assuming they don't jack our rent outrageously next spring when our lease is up), we'll see them better on the Hudson River side next year (they alternate each year now).

Otherwise, nothing special. Jon had to work, I made some burgers (no grills allowed on the balcony, unfortunately). I miss the family barbecues my mom or brothers used to have. My mom made the best baked beans ever, all doctored up, with sizzalean (the Jewish bacon). No matter how big a pan she made, they were gone, every last bean. And this delicious red, white, and blue jell-o mold she made. Out of this world. (I fear jell-o molds have become a lost art.)

We're having an early 100th birthday celebration for my mom on Thursday. My nephew and his new wife are in town for a wedding, so my brother wants to celebrate then, though my mom's birthday's not until the 26th. I'll still get her a cake for the 26th, which is a Sunday, which Jon can make (he has to work Thursday). It's just close family Thursday (at least my brother remembered to invite me, for a change). My mom doesn't want a big party. She's always been funny about her birthday. 100 -- can you imagine?

I myself am very grateful for my current well spell. I finished the school year with two weeks of both strep throat and pneumonia. I'd been sick in April and May, too, but June took it to another level. Temperature of 103.1. Throat felt like swallowing razor blades. Super strong antibiotics did the trick, though, thank goodness. Still weak, but getting stronger.

With any luck, I fly out on Friday for my writer's conference in Taos. I'll miss Jon and our new place, but I'm really looking forward to the conference. I have a fiction workshop during the week, and a poetry workshop on the weekend. And the hotel is very cool, with swimming pools and a view of the mountains, an on-site restaurant and live music on the weekends. Should be fun--

Then, in August, Jon and I are going to New Orleans for a week and from there a cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. (I'm always torn between saving for a rainy day and living now. Living now's been winning out lately.)
posted by Pips 06 July | 08:12
Photo Friday: Square || It's a quarter after 2 and I have an appointment