Today I went early to the natatorium, where they have adult swim during Saturday mornings. They also have an infants' swim class in the huge shallow pool. When I first made my way toward the concrete splendor which is the "lazy river" section, dozens of parents in the pool, each carrying a toddler, were walking around in circles, singing in unison "the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, all through the town". It was one of those cinematic moments--the kind of thing one sees in a movie and says "that's so unrealistic". I am one of that minority of adults who never had a child but loves children, so that was pleasing to see and hear.
I began to swim the lazy river, sometimes dog paddling, and sometimes doing a curious self-invented backcrawl that was rather what I imagine it must be like to ride a recumbent bicycle. I had the lazy river to myself, until two infants, with mothers as dromedaries, began to google their way by me. The two tiny boys continually looked at one another, perhaps charting out reference points in a strange, unfamiliar and very wet universe.
We went to Circuit City to see about television replacements, as our television assortment is years past the point at which it should have been replaced. The saleswoman there proved polite, chockful of product knowledge, low-key and informative. If I had single male friends in town, I would introduce them to this 23 year old dynamo of unsurpassed unassuming expertise. I have a weakness for quietly brilliant assertive women. She had her retail service at Ph.D. level. People imagine this kind of service no longer exists, but she stood before us, polished, professional and yet down-to-earth and informal, rebutting retail myths right and left. When we made a purchase, I had to get on the phone with my credit card company, to prove I am who I am by taking a pop quiz about my life, which I apparently passed.
We went to see the new Uma Thurman/Luke Wilson film about the super ex-girlfriend. We liked the movie. I have never been among the ranks of men who tremble at the thought of her touch, but
I always like Ms. Thurman in movies, because she has leading lady looks but has always been rather more of a character actress.
I had two charming lengthy telephone conversations today with friends, rather an exception for me, as well as three blitz chess games with a fellow I used to know in analog life at a chess club in Los Angeles, but whom I now only see at the Free Internet Chess Server once in a while. He has a long, impressive literary chess handle, which is, I believe, an appropriate thing for a college professor to have. My handle, of course, is "gurdonark", after a small town in Arkansas famous for a ghost light. I have seen the ghost light, and it has saved me, because I believe that salvation comes not from works, but from faith in the amazing splendor of possibility.
We had sushi tonight at our favorite place, where our waiter told us he was having trouble dealing with the heat, having come from Portland last year. We asked why he came, and he said it was for his girlfriend--and then added, with longing, that given the heat here in Texas, he hoped the relationship worked out. I hope he is rewarded for (and for that matter, by) his steadfastness, as this heated drought is defininitely an "in sickness or in health" moment.
I purchased some modestly priced shareware called fleximusic generator from Fleximusic. It allows to to create sounds without resort to conventional notation or keyboards. Thus far, I have created some interesting samples with it, but I am not yet happy with any of the resulting songs. I love alternative ways to make soundscapes.
My wife's container garden has one nearly-ripe tomato and one virtually ripe bell pepper, as well as other more incipient things still "aways" from ripening. I am not fond of raw tomatoes, but I am rooting for her to have a successful crop, because Demeter moments are few and far between, and best savored with as little hellishness as possible in a hellish Summer climate.
Last night I missed the Ray Davies concert, which I regret, but we went to the Clay Pit and I had a wonderful salmon tandoori. I mentioned with our friends how recently, when I carry a "Recording" magazine on a plane or in a store, it proves a conversation starter about whether I own a recording studio or am a musician. No doubt my single days would have been much more colorful if I had realized that the key to getting the ice broken is a good cover story about
microphone amplification. Sequencers are the newest etchings. Perhaps that's why the most popular freeware digital audio workstation is called Audacity.
I bought a huge container of Bazooka chewing gum last week at a Dollar Tree, for a dollar. I ate the last pieces this week. I wish I had more, as well as the perfect digital audio workstation.
Today I think of people to whom I am at my root entirely grateful, as in the case of my parents. It is a fortunate thing, I think, to have people who have been sufficiently kind to one that one can think of them almost only in terms of thankfulness. It's a pleasing reflection, on a lazy river Saturday.