May, though enjoyable, was entirely too hectic; June had better be downright sedate by comparison.  I’m currently still caught up in the throes of moving to a new apartment, but the end is in sight.  “Oh, I don’t have much stuff,” I told myself airily.  Lies and fables.  It certainly felt like a lot of stuff as I hauled it down three flights of stairs, loaded it in the car, and hauled it up two flights of stairs on the other end.  I think I’m really going to love the new apartment once we get it all fixed up, though.

I made a quick four-day trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over Memorial Day weekend, which was glorious as always.  We left the horrible, hot stickiness of North Carolina and stepped off the plane in the UP into lovely 65-70 degree temperatures.  The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and I kept asking myself, “Why is it that I don’t live here, again?”  Eventually I remembered my beloved friends in North Carolina and the unemployment rate in Michigan, but it’s difficult when everything is so beautiful.

The trip was short, so there wasn’t a lot of time for adventures, but we did manage trips to both the upper and lower harbor break walls.  I am enamored with break walls.  Something about running out on the rocks into the middle of the lake, whether the water is wild or peaceful, is terribly, terribly enticing.  There’s a nice little climb to the beacon at the end, and you get just a taste of adrenaline from the experience without actually being in any danger to speak of.  The upper harbor wall is about twice as long as the lower harbor wall, with rougher rocks.  The waves were too high last fall for us to go all the way out (though I was mightily tempted anyway).  I was with a  posse of friends this trip, and Simone didn’t have hiking shoes on so she went barefoot.  Danielle and I thought, what a good idea! And promptly did the same.  We scampered over the rocks like happy little mountain goats and had a wonderful time.

On the way back home, we were waiting for our flight out of Marquette, and a woman and her infant were seated near us at the gate.  The baby screeched once or twice, and the mother said, “Aww, who’s my little velociraptor?  You’re my little velociraptor!”  I was tempted to applaud.  Madam, I commend your parenting, and henceforth I will refer to all screaming children as velociraptors.

These you must see:


Be aware that these exist:


I find that reading books about plane crashes while physically in a plane really enhances the flying experience.  I told my mother that and she thought I was being facetious, but I was just being honest.  I read Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince) on the way to Michigan and Wind, Sand, and Stars by the same author on the way back, both of which include plane disasters.  Both were exquisite, though not at all in the same way as The Little Prince, and both are about Saint-Exupery’s experiences as a pilot for the night-mails in South America and Africa during the 1920s and 1930s.  Flying was still a perilous business then, and reading about the sort of men who chose that career was utterly fascinating.  Perhaps there’s a bit of the philosopher in all pilots, or perhaps Antoine was just of a particularly thoughtful bent, but either way his musings on humanity and life and death were all very thought-provoking.

Now I’m reading Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, and there again, reading it in North Carolina makes the book feel extremely real.  I think I like it so far; I’m still not certain.  I’m not sure yet if the book really is good, a classic in its own right, or if it’s just very good at pretending to be good.  Every once in a while I get the feeling that Frazier is trying too hard to be the next Faulkner, but at other times I think he’s succeeding at writing an important piece of work.  I’ll give you my final verdict when I’m finished.