August 23, 2007

Late Summer Pleasures

August in Georgia. By the time I leave the house for car pool, it’s 104, maybe 106. Breezeless. The streets have softened into black butter and the still air feels tacky, sticking to the lungs as if the tar has evaporated up into it. My brain does not want to write words. It feels done, done, baked through. I have to turn a chunk of book in to my writing group this afternoon, and my brain says it would prefer to go play with the kitten in my icy cold air conditioned bedroom, thanks much.

Waiting out the dog days, I am allowing myself a SLEW of delightful pleasures to make time go faster and get us all safely to the orange-warm days of lovely, lovely September. I’m going to LIST for you these pleasures as you may want to indulge in a few yourself, but first let me digress and say HOW MUCH I stinking love FALL. Here in Georgia, it won’t start in September, not really, but I will know it’s coming,. I work best in Fall. I am happiest in Fall. I love the CRISP edge the air gets, that sharp, clean smell of snow that will never come, not here. It was a winter month in Florida, but it SMELLED like fall, the first time Scott kissed me out in the gazebo behind my parent’s house.

Here are my pleasures…

1) The 13th Tale on audio. I imagine I would like it JUST FINE in print, but the audio is SO well acted and the story so gripping and unexpected and hooky and beautifully told that I NEVER wander and have to rewind. I am actually LOOKING FORWARD to long drives and sitting in carpool so I can hear a little more. I HURRY to my car, even though that first hideous contact of my flesh onto the superheated egg fry surface of my car’s seat makes me release a noise like a shrike on fire might make.

This is one of those books, you know, like Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell or Water for Elephants, that blows out like MAD and it’s not because of hype, it’s just really, NO really, so good that everyone who reads it has to tell two friends. And it’s PERFECTLY realized on this audio version.

2) Power Lady Summer TV.
Saving Grace
I tape these and watch them while on the Nordic Track. FFing through the commercials, each show lasts about 45 minutes, which is how long the routine I do lasts. I notice when Damages or Grace is on, my workoutr seems to last 10 minutes because I am so engrossed…ALSO I GO SO FAST! Watching Damages, I pedal like a monkey on crack who thinks he is competing in the Tour de France because it’s so TENSE and EXCITING and OH! WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT!.

Then I ALSO pedal like mad during Grace because Holly Hunter spends most of the show naked and HOW HOW HOW does her body LOOK like that? She HAS to be pushing 50. She looks SO good, and she doesn’t have that creepy, rubbery too-much-surgery look, either---just toned beyond all mortal ken.

I also am still totally digging THE CLOSER.

Pedalling aside, another late summer pleasure is…

3) Just staying as fat as I can possibly can. Any fatter at all and I would be in belted hefty bags because none of my pants would close. And if this was Spring? Or even EARLY summer? I would be all up ons, you know, getting ready for bathing suit season, but oh, best beloveds, that ship has SAILED this year, sailed, sailedsailedsailed so far across an ocean and foundered off the cape and sunk, crew eaten by carnivorous whales, barnacles picking out choice real estate on the hull. And you know what? FINE! In about the time it would take me to peel off 10 pounds, I will be segueing into my more forgiving Fall wardrobe ANYWAY – did I mention I love Fall. So.

4) ROAD TRIP! Karen and I are heading out tomorrow for some book events/book club things. We are going to stay with a friend I have not seen since last time I was in New York! And she will let us SNIFF HER HORSES!!!! And have PIMMS CUP! AND! She is making us Poutine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yeah. I am really going to eat that, even though it makes my own fat potato fat-fat casserole look positively HEALTHFUL. I plan to eat POUNDS of it. And I am NOT sorry. See number 3). Also, I am taking the fixings for making and drinking…

5) White Trash Cocktails, aka Dextinis. Okay. *sigh* You wanted the recipe. Here it is.

MY Dextini:

One shot Stoli Vanil
One Shot Amaretto
Fill rest of glass with 1% ice cold organic milk mixed with Nestle Quick as per box directions.

The Dextini of the person you wish to beat at cards (assuming this person’s husband is the one driving):
Mix EXTRA Nestles Quick into a good 2 shots of Stoli Vanil. Add at least 1.5 shots Amaretto, fill up the rest of the glass with the original Nestle’s and Organic 1%. Mixture.

WARNING: You may lose at cards ANYWAY. *grrrrrr*

Posted by joshilyn at August 23, 2007 12:26 PM

One of the perks of working at the newspaper is getting DVDs of new shows coming out. We got the first FOUR episodes of "Saving Grace" from TNT before it ever premiered. I watched them all because I pledged allegiance to Hunter years ago after watching "Broadcast News." I am SO Jane Craig in that movie. Saving Grace is splendid.
But ... I heart "Damages" much more. Good TV, chilling, unpredictable.

Me too. Want fall too. I got return labels in the mail yesterday and they all have little pumpkins and fall leaves and stuff on them. I was salivating at the sight of them.

Posted by: timmi at August 23, 2007 1:17 PM

Fall is great, no running the AC, riding bike along the river will be perfect. Thanks for posting the Dextini receipe. :p

Posted by: Sarah at August 23, 2007 3:15 PM

I will now be making me a Dextini as ALL - All, I tell you, every stinking one - of the pain meds my doctor has so helpfully prescribed has been a DISASTER of vomiting and/or the unbearable restless jitters. BUT, oh my fair Tulip, as thou well knows, I can hold my liquor, if not my drugs. Dextini to the rescue!! And thank you for the kind recommendation.

Posted by: Amy-Go at August 23, 2007 4:24 PM

Damages is fantastic -- it's Soprano-esque. Also love The Closer but can't get into Saving Grace.

Thank goodness for iTunes, I missed this week's episodes but could download them to my laptop.

Posted by: c.paquin at August 23, 2007 5:43 PM

I have eaten poutine. In July, in Toronto, next door to a shop whose sign said "The Head Shop: Serving Toronto's Potheads Since...Ah, We Forget." The Yarn Harlot says if you listen hard while eating poutine you can hear your heart slow down.

She's right.

Posted by: rams at August 23, 2007 6:10 PM

Hey- just wondering- what does Maisy think of school? I will definately give the Dextini a try. Did you make this up or just discover it?

Posted by: Cathi at August 23, 2007 6:17 PM

1. I loved The 13th Tale!! I read it instead of listening, since I'm not so much into the audio books, but Loved. It. That and Water for Elephants both made my top 12 fave books last years. I keep looking at J S & M N and thinking I should give that one a go, but I look at the sheer size of it, then look at my ridiculous TBR pile(s!!!) of books and think "later." I'll get to it eventually, Lord willing, lack of rising creeks, etc.

2. I've been watching Saving Grace and really like that one a lot. I've been TiVoing Damages, but haven't started watching them yet because I'm missing episode 3...gggrrr. I wonder if they have those online. Just now thought of that! Hhmm...need to check it out! If so, I can start watching them!

3) You are SO not even remotely fat, even at your fattest weight. You just aren't.

4)Hope you and Karen have a great time!! Poutine sounds yummy!!

5) So does the White Trash Cocktail although, Nestle's Quick notwithstanding, I'm not sure how white trashy it can really be with top shelf vodka and organic milk. Just sayin' I'm SO going to try it! It sounds like it would taste like an alcohol-soaked chocolate covered cherry! (I need to go to the store though, as I have NONE of the ingredients except the milk. Sigh...)

Posted by: DebR at August 23, 2007 6:25 PM

DebR, I think Damages is going to have a marathon on Labor Day. Check their website.

I am hooked on Damages, Closer, and Saving Grace, so glad that there are now shows with strong female characters who aren't you know "Barbie doll-like". You know they seem like people you might actually know, because they are flawed.
Fall can't come fast enough for me these 100 degree days are killing me!

Posted by: Heather at August 23, 2007 9:04 PM

Pimms' Cups are definitely a late summer pleasure. I'd wait until it's a bit cooler to sniff the horses, though.

We're having record-breaking heat up here in the mountains, too. I've had enough! My puppy doesn't even want to go for a walk. He walks about 10 feet, finds a spot of shade and sits down on his furry little heinie. Can't say I blame him.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at August 23, 2007 9:40 PM

How 'bout you road trip up here to Canada where it was 52 degrees today (Half of your temperature!!) and I'll even let you RIDE my horse.

Posted by: Heather Cook at August 23, 2007 9:47 PM

Joss said...
I have to turn a chunk of book in to my writing group this afternoon...

Joshilyn, you are a goddess among writerly women. I am painfully used to seeing people use "into" when they mean "in to." Bless you, Booful!

Of course, turning a chunk of book into your writing group would be JFM, plus good for a few laughs. /;+)

Posted by: ZaZa at August 24, 2007 12:32 AM

UMMMMMM Pimms yum, but now I'm going to have to drive to Canada to get some poutine. At the casino here the make One Eyed Jack Nachos. French Fries smoothered in Jack cheese, shredded bacon, cracked pepper, and served with ranch sauce. Damn now I'm hungery.

Posted by: Cele at August 24, 2007 1:12 AM

I lurved the 13th Tale. It's so fairy tale fun. Also, even though it's ehhh 8:30 in the morning where I live, I want a white trash cocktail.

Have fun on your trip!

Posted by: aka nik at August 24, 2007 2:25 AM

Ah, Fall! Everything crispy and most of the bugs are DEAD, so it's the best time for my walks in the woods . . except for the whole being-mistaken-for-a-deer thing.

Make sure she uses REAL cheese curds, FRESH ones, in that poutine, it's just not right otherwise! MMMmmmmmmmm.

Posted by: Brigitte at August 24, 2007 7:07 AM

Thanks, Heather, I'll check out the schedule!

Posted by: DebR at August 24, 2007 8:26 AM

Isn't the Thirteenth Tale fabulous? I read it and thoroughly enjoyed every pretty page.

And fall. Ah, fall. It's my favorite time of games and pumpkins and the leaves and will it ever get here?? In Mississippi it comes slow and doesn't stay long, at which point I take to reading books set in New England in autumn.

Posted by: Keetha at August 24, 2007 9:10 AM

Right with you on the 13th Tale- fab fab, and I never would have pronounced Vita Winter's name right if I didn't hear the audio.
Might I also suggest HISTORY OF LOVE on CD. I think it's up your alley.
Have fun with K this wkend, I'm off to a girly houseboat party,( bringing a bottle of absinthe...) but hope to catch up to you at DBF next wkend. Belated congrats on the awrd, btw.

Posted by: linda at August 24, 2007 9:39 AM

Oh! Streets have softened into black butter.

LOVE it. What a beautiful description. Same temps here, it is so hot. Fortunately I was up in Madison WI for a conference last week, where they were complaining about their 82 degree day and humidity. But I was strolling around happy.

Posted by: Laura Florand at August 24, 2007 10:25 AM

My SIL sent me The 13th Tale for my B-day back in March. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!!!! She is the same person the sent me gods in Alabama. As you can tell, she always makes excellent book recommendations :)

YUM, poutine! I haven't had poutine since I was in Canada for work years ago. Such wonderful yumminess!

Posted by: Patti D. at August 24, 2007 11:31 AM

Today and tomorrow notwithstanding (90+ degrees), we've had cooler weather lately and I am SO NOT READY for fall. September is nice, and perhaps most of October, but Winter has a sneaky way of slipping in during November. Fall goes quick. Mind you, I dig the autumn foliage and apples and Halloween with a bite in the air, not to mention FOOTBALL (hallelujah for that), but then all that's gone and womp! there could be 6 feet of snow for Thanksgiving. It can happen.

Keetha, your comment made me smile, because, living in New England, I tend to want to read southern and/or summertime books in the late fall-winter-early spring. For years I'd hold out on Dandelion Wine as long as I could; it was my "break glass in case of winter emergency" book.

Posted by: amy at August 24, 2007 2:11 PM

I have been "peeking" at your blog for such a long time, and it is even listed on my blog as a great place to go! So, what a surprise that I actually "looked" to the side and realized that your book "gods in Alabama" is one of my most recent favorites! Just enough to put a big ol' smile on my face!!

Posted by: Rebekah at August 24, 2007 3:57 PM

I love, love, love, The Closer. I must read Water for Elephants soon! x

Posted by: diane at August 24, 2007 3:58 PM

So are the public schools air conditioned where you are? I would think if not it'd be too hot to think, much less learn. Up here in Yankee country the kids don't start back till after Labor Day, not so hot, although it's never as hot here for as long as it is there. AND I just read Amy's post and I demand to know the last time we had 6 feet of snow for Thanksgiving? She exaggerates, my sister.

Posted by: Jill at August 24, 2007 7:17 PM

The point is, it COULD happen. Do you remember the winter it snowed feet, weekly? From about November to April? '93-'94, maybe? I do. I shoveled it, because my landlord wouldn't pay for a plow. Every. Single. Week.

I hate New England winters. *grrr*

Posted by: amy at August 24, 2007 7:45 PM

Now Amy and Jill, girls, don't fuss with each other. I am at a quilt show in Nashville TN. It's 103 outside. You'd think it would be too hot to even think about quilts. But quilters don't much pay any attention to the temperature. It's mostly about the fabric and who has the most!

I love love love the fall. Cooler weather, layered clothes, seeing apple cider in the grocery story (for mixing Biltmore Spiced cider mix with) crispy leaves, which we won't have any of because of the draught, football, hunting season (not for me, for hubby and that gives me a few week-ends to quilt!) So it's a big circle of life!

Posted by: Rhonda at August 25, 2007 2:20 AM

amy said...
Do you remember the winter it snowed feet, weekly? From about November to April? '93-'94, maybe?

I do! I do! That was the winter I quit my job in Maryland and moved home to California. We drove. But luck was with us. The storm followed on our tails until about South Carolina. We'd wake up each morning to snow, but get on the road going south and outrun it.

It was January, so we went the southern route. Lovely. Just lovely. Antique shopping. Bojangles fried chicken. Damn I miss that. Didn't hit cold and nasty until Texas, which was in the grip of a series of ice storms.

Posted by: ZaZa at August 25, 2007 1:16 PM