The Last Days of Summer

When I was in summer camp as a child--one of those places where they force you to walk a good half mile to the mess hall, where watery soup and neon pink milk carton-ed juice await--a girl told me that her parents often allowed her to take extra sessions of camp, and miss the first two weeks of school.

This seemed fanciful, indulgent, ridiculous at the time--miss school? On purpose?

But then I started to wonder if her parents had wonderful stories about summers, and thus wanted to elongate them as much as possible for their child. For all I know, their memories were as warm as Country Time's commercials, and the rest of the year was mere waiting.

Well. This year, for the first time, it seems I've adopted this practice. It's well into September and I am still wearing flip flops. My toes are a scandalous reddish pink called "party in my cabana." I assure you there are neither cabanas nor parties in the office. Today. The latter would be more likely than the former.

And--perhaps most surprising of all--I have not purchased a single school supply (choosing notebooks, pens, and backpacks used to be one of my favorite activities) or a single new fall cardigan.



What, then, have I been doing in the past few weeks?

  • Encountering jellyfish. Apparently they frequent NYC beaches in August and September, but I'm not sure why. There were days when the waves were perfect--just enough that I could jump over most of them and only get knocked over a few times--and they were scarce. But, on calm-watered days, they hung out--usually in pairs. Supposedly these do not sting. I did not wish to find out. 
  • Surviving hurricanes. As I'm sure you heard, it was a non-event. However, out of duty (though I thought they--and the enormous line at TJ's for the bottled water--were overreacting), I got candles. Saw that someone was tweeting as the hurricane and giggling about how we'd all be fat and hungover the next day. Sounds about right.
  • Traveling. My cousin got married, and I was in the bridal party. She was kind--our dresses were deep purple, and only somewhat spherical. The groomsmen walked down the aisle to the U of Michigan football fight song. 
  • Making scones. It's hard to get them to be the right amount of crumbly without being too dry. When I figure this out, I'll let you know. 
  • Hiring interns. We have a new army, this time of seven. Very sadly, IFI is on to bigger and better things, but you can still check out her blog (see the post below for link). 
  • Meeting writers. So many have come through the city, and as someone who's bossy ("Go here! Take this train!") it's hard to resist the opportunity.
  • Trying to get ahead on reading. We always get a huge number of wonderful works in September, so I'm trying to clear the inbox. We're at about 50 fewer than the number before, all while requesting at the same rate. This is significant progress. 
  • Reading so many excellent book-books and getting to the point where I may just splurge on reading chair + ottoman + lamp + delivery. (I tried to take a huge ottoman on the subway once. That did not go well.) My current set-up is only comfortable for a little more than an hour, which is not ideal for days that could be better spent reading. 
  • Attending various vaguely publishing-related events--garden parties, museum parties, agent get-togethers. Other activities with cheese plates.
  • Stalking Dîner en Blanc and then realizing I was busy during registration and could not escape to a computer.
  • Picnics in the park.
  • Book club. Writing group. Book club...
  • Watching Daria online. If you have Hulu Plus, you can too. Highly recommended.
  • Making awkward thank-yous to firemen and their wives in the city this weekend.
  • Trying to start up a "Save the post office and make the world better by sending real mail!" campaign. Really. The world would be better.
  • Readings--so, so many readings. It's like they were all waiting for August to be over. It seems I could attend three every day if I just had the time and energy.
Pretty as they are, I don't think we'd get along. 

So, yes. Lots happening over here at GK Industries.

What have you been up to?

_____________________________
* Sure, I faked sick--but only for the duration of P.E.

12 comments:

Karen Harrington said...

I enjoyed reading this! I always loved those "What I did over the summer" assignments. Sounds like you had a great one. Down here in Texas, we spent the summer mostly trying hard not to spontaneously combust, frying eggs on the sidewalk to prove it could be done (yes, it can!), drinking peach iced-tea and reading lots of great books!

Lucy said...

Oh, my! Welcome back, GK. :)

Melissa said...

Huzzah! Huzzah! You're alive and well. Every once in a while I'd check in and go, "Hrm, she hasn't posted in what seems like ages. Hope she's OK." Then I'd come up with all these fanciful scenarios of what had happened to you, including:

a) GK adopted a dachshund puppy. Aforementioned dachshund puppy got attacked by a bear. GK leapt to the poor dog's defense, punching the bear in the nose and saving the pup from certain doom.

b) Becoming the Time Bandit's latest crew member on "Deadliest Catch."

c) Hunting for Sasquatch in the Great Northwest.

For some reason, I envisioned you in Alaska or the West Coast, go figure. But welcome back!

Melissa said...

Huzzah! Huzzah! You're alive and well. Every once in a while I'd check in and go, "Hrm, she hasn't posted in what seems like ages. Hope she's OK." Then I'd come up with all these fanciful scenarios of what had happened to you, including:

a) GK adopted a dachshund puppy. Aforementioned dachshund puppy got attacked by a bear. GK leapt to the poor dog's defense, punching the bear in the nose and saving the pup from certain doom.

b) Becoming the Time Bandit's latest crew member on "Deadliest Catch."

c) Hunting for Sasquatch in the Great Northwest.

For some reason, I envisioned you in Alaska or the West Coast, go figure. But welcome back!

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Ha! That's amazing. No, no puppies or bears. Though I've been wishing more, lately, for a dog. A big fluffy one. They're hard to take care of in the city.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

I love that picture of you, Karen!

Agency Gatekeeper said...

Thank you, Lucy. :)

Rowenna said...

Splurge on the awesome chair/lamp/cozy wonderful corner! My comfy chair and end table for reading is my favorite spot in the house.

My summer? For perhaps the first time ever, it went too quickly--or so I thought until the first crisp morning with the smell of fall on the wind. Now I can't wait to wear sweaters and have bonfires!

ChristaCarol said...

Hi stranger! :) And puppies...fluffy...you should get a Labradoodle. My neighbor got one. It's 4 months and so dang adorable!! And I agree with Karen on surviving the Texas heat. Glad your summer has been a productive one. Not sure I ever said it was good meeting you this spring. It was! My life has changed upside down so I'm not much writing until it gets flipped rightside up. Had the baby (so adorable!!) June 23, and my littlest munchkin got diagnosed with leukemia. Talk about a wild ride! Anyway, trying to get back into the blogging thing just so I can keep writing in some fashion. Glad you survived the hurricane ;-)

Eileen said...

The secret to good scones is really chill your butter (even pop it into the freezer for a few minutes) and then grate it with a cheese grater into the flour/dough mixture. Works every time. When you over mix them they get dry. Not sure why. I have a good recipe if you need one.

Also- welcome back!

:) said...

Welcome back, GK. Glad to hear of your adventures, even if a library stool is a somewhat inexplicable impulse buy. What, pray, will you do with it?!?!

:) signed up for a writing conference in October. Right before Halloween. Ooh, scary.

:) also began referring to :) in the :) person.

Enjoy the autumn - we don't get that here, and I miss the colors though not the cold.

:)

Jen Daiker said...

Holy heck you've been busy! I'm so glad your cousin was sweet when it comes to the dress style color! When I got married I realized just how hard it was to please everyone else!!

Sorry about the hurricane... or maybe I'm not if you were able to eat, drink, and be merry!!

Here in Houston it's been rough. No rain, really hot, and quite a few fires.

Needless to say I've been spending many of nights making strawberry champagne cocktails and working on my next AMAZING pastry practice along with some other goodies!!

This week I'll be making a few fun items: Bacon & Egg Toast Cups and Toasted Ravioli with Marina sauce!

Oh and whatever Paula's got up her sleeve! ;)