Low Humidity, High Spirits

So, I’ll be the 65th person to say how gorgeous it is outside today.  For the first time since spring, the humidity is practically non-existent and and temperature is hovering in the low-80s.

I feel like the city is breathing a sigh of relief.

I drove down to Poncey-Highland for a haircut this morning, and for the first time in many months didn’t break a sweat walking from my car to the salon.  The light is beginning to have that clear, autumn look.  I might even wake up early in the morning just to wear a light jacket while walking Walden.

Summer has been long this year, what with multiple days of 95 degree, 500% humidity.  Great for pool time, not so much for exercising an energetic dog or sweat-averse Laura.  Tonight, however, Walden and I will take a nice stroll around the complex, saying hello to people and things we haven’t seen in awhile.

Until then, I have a giant to-do list of work items and phone calls, and I’m already sleepy.  Time to put on the coffee, open a window, buckle down, and wait for fall.

After all, it’s almost time.

Hello, August

To me, August is the month of changes.  The carefree summer days are quickly coming to an end, the back to school aisle at Target is ripe with the scent of new backpacks, notebook paper, and fresh crayons, and the first glimpse of fall is guaranteed to appear one early morning in the not too distant future.

I’ve spent some time writing down my goals for August; they range from work-related things to personal activities to weird goals that only make sense to me.  Since this is the first month I’ve actively done this, I’ve kept the list short(ish), so as not to overwhelm myself and make accomplishing these things an easier task.

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I find myself wanting to settle things before a new season begins…spring cleaning is a big thing in my house, the weather finally semi-warm enough to open the windows and clear out all that dust and debris that’s gathered during the coldest months.  It’s the same when summer’s over; I want to clean the clutter, organize all the things, and settle in for a long autumn and winter nap.  I believe this is called nesting…I can’t imagine how I will be when pregnancy arrives.  Nesting 24/7, all the time, until there’s nothing left to nest.

So this month will include a lot of work, both for profit and not for profit (I’m finally starting a book!).  It will also include some Dragon Con prep (my first year, there will be a recap afterwards), a 15-lb weight loss goal, a new television stand, and some training for sweet Walden.

Readers, what are your goals for this warm month?  What will you accomplish in August?

Bang, Bang

So, by complete coincidence, I went to a shooting range on the 4th of July weekend.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a gun, especially after someone tried to break into my apartment while I was sleeping.  I believe, wholeheartedly, that it is my right and my duty to educate myself and protect my house, my family, and my possessions.

I arrived, with Justin the Boyfriend and Mike the Boyfriend’s Childhood Friend (and Certified Marksman Who Is Teaching Me How To Shoot Properly), and was somewhat bummed to find out I couldn’t rent a pink gun.  Justin actually asked for the smallest gun they had, and when they placed it in front of me I felt what was probably akin to what Will Smith felt when he joined the Men in Black and the only weapon he got was the tiny cricket gun.

What am I supposed to do with this?

What am I supposed to do with this?

What I didn’t realize, rather foolishly, was how loud the shooting range is.  Sure, people are shooting guns, big deal, right?  I wasn’t prepared for the fellow who wanted to shoot a semi-automatic, each pull of the trigger sounding like a bomb going off.  I wasn’t prepared for the sudden loud bangs, for the overwhelming smell of gun powder, to feel, in person, exactly how dangerous and unpredictable guns can be in the hands of people who don’t know any better (thankfully, I was the only new person there; I can’t say enough about how nice and responsible everyone was).  I was scared.  I didn’t want to be around all that noise and strangeness.  I wanted to leave.

Oh my God, I thought.  Am I turning into one of those people who is against guns?

And then it was my turn to shoot.  Not one to back down from something I’ve committed to, I tentatively listened to everything told to me and gave it a shot (ha, dad joke).

It’s my opinion that anyone who is frightened of guns or believes they are unnecessary or dangerous should visit a shooting range.  Hold the gun in your hands, learn how to properly load, control, shoot, and handle it.  Fear is, mostly, because of a lack of understanding.  A responsible gun owner or handler is nothing to be apprehensive about.  By my second turn, I felt like a pro, the fear replaced by a strong curiosity and desire to learn more and improve.

According to Justin, I gutted my attacker.

According to Justin, I gutted my attacker.

Addicting?  Probably not.  There’s no pull inside me to go back, but instead a desire to responsibly learn and one day carry.  Responsible gun ownership is few and far between these days, and a far piece away from my increasingly liberal leaning tendencies, but who cares.  If I decide to do something, I do it right and I do it responsibly.  New experiences for the win.

July, July

There’s something about waking up early the day after a long summer thunderstorm.  I’m spending the morning at Crema, my favorite Dunwoody coffee shop, first doing some work, then an interview for an article I’m writing, and then some more work, and there’s something to be said for being one of the first patrons of the day.

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Of course, my running out of coffee at the apartment had a lot to do with it, too, but let’s not talk about that.

I was “relaxing” at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last night while the storm raged; I wouldn’t have known unless I’d looked at my radar app (which I did) and a very concerned worker hadn’t kept announcing that THE RAMP IS CLOSED.  THERE IS LIGHTNING WITHIN 5 MILES OF THE AIRPORT. THE RAMP.  IS.  CLOSED.  Luckily, despite the ramp being closed, mom’s flight arrived on time and I got to hear all about her Vegas trip.  I’ll leave out the part where we had to chase her suitcase around the luggage carousel because it was stuck on a flap, and a nice man had to help us out.  You can’t take us anywhere.

As I’m sitting here this morning, I can see numerous flags flying around the coffeehop and church across the street.  These are only a few that I’ve already seen; Dunwoody is particularly patriotic this year.  I’m toying with the idea of attending the parade this year, if only because of the horses I know are rumored to be there, but the idea of sleeping in will probably win out.  However, there will be the traditional baby back ribs for lunch.  America, everybody.  Land of the Delicious Food.

Happy Thursday, friends, and I hope your 4th of July weekend is full of good food, good times, and loud fireworks.

Trends

This is becoming an annoying trend.

There’s been one day, the past few summers, that the air suddenly cools, the air conditioning can be turned off, and the breeze in the morning smells like fall.  Today was that day.

And, naturally, I started missing the autumn.  I started looking at Halloween pictures on Pinterest.  I almost watched some Halloween cooking shows, but I held back.  I thought to myself, I’m done with summer.  I’ve gotten a sunburn and, subsequently, a tan.  I’ve been to the pool.  I’ve grilled a burger.  I’m ready to move on.

Nothing wrong with that.  We all have our favorite things that we look forward to all year long.

But then I stopped.  And gave it a little more thought.

Time will pass, no matter how much we wish it would or wouldn’t.  Summer will end, autumn will arrive, Christmas will light up the world and summer will be here again before you know it.  What if, instead of wishing our lives away for something else, we stopped and looked around.  What if we appreciate the time we’re living in now, soak in the hot air and shimmering pool water and smell of the air conditioning and taste of fresh watermelon and cantaloupe and tomatoes.  Enjoy how the light hangs around until 9pm and twilight brings the lightening bugs and the crickets and a respite from the humid afternoon.

Change will come, sure as the seasons and twice as quick…isn’t it better to be happy where you are instead of spending all your time wishing you were somewhere else?

I think so.