I am somewhat saddened that my recent homemade salsa attempts have been rather bland, relatively speaking.  Food Lion’s selection of peppers leaves much to be desired, which I didn’t realize until it dawned on me that I was pouring tons of peppers in and the salsa wasn’t getting any hotter.  Oh well, cilantro covers a multitude of sins.

Lake Johnson is gorgeous, as I discovered when I went exploring the other day.  I had not fully comprehended this until moving to our new place, which is practically next door to the park.  I predict I will be spending hours and hours out there…though perhaps not until fall, much as I would like to embrace Emerson’s quote.  Summer has made its sweltering, unwelcome appearance with a vengeance, which means I’ll be hiding in air-conditioned locations as much as possible for the next several months.  When the heat gets bad enough to buckle the pavement on I-440, you know you shouldn’t be outside.  We already had one night of misery when the AC in the apartment died, but fortunately they got it more or less fixed quickly.



Everything else:


I just finished Nautilus 90 North by William Anderson, which a friend found on the free shelf at the library and gave to me.  Anderson captained the nuclear submarine Nautilus during its 1958 voyage from Seattle to England…by traveling underneath the north pole.  Doesn’t get much cooler than that, literally or figuratively.  A major reason for this little jaunt underneath the polar ice cap?  Just to see if they could do it.  The captain mentions something about scientific research and possible military advantages (they pop up through a hole in the ice at one point, and he muses to himself that it would be a good location from which to launch guided missiles at Russia), but it all sounds suspiciously like a cloak for exploratory glee, which makes me very happy.  The book is quite light-hearted, and makes it sound like life on the Nautilus was pretty darn nice.  Come on, guys, let’s go steal a nuclear sub and go fishing.

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren is another book I wish we had read in Southern American Lit.  I’ve read a lot of Warren’s poetry, but before this none of his prose, and so far I really enjoy it.  One can still tell that he’s a poet at heart: the novel is a bit meandering (so far, at least), with a few digressions into poetic turns of phrase.

My Latin group, which is no longer a Latin group anymore, is now picking different literary excerpts to discuss weekly.  Jealous, aren’t you?  Last week we read John Galt’s speech from Atlas Shrugged.  Reading Ayn Rand is kind of like childbirth, I imagine (not having experienced childbirth).  It’s a long, drawn-out, painful ordeal, and you forget just how painful once it’s all over because you have such a thrill of accomplishment upon completing it.  The speech was even longer than I remembered, but we had a good time talking about it.  She’s crazy, but she’s a very logical kind of crazy, and her work always makes for good discussion.  I admit that I did feel terribly pretentious walking into a coffee shop with a massive copy of Atlas Shrugged under my arm; I might as well have been wearing a sign on my forehead saying, “Pompous jerk.”

In a whiplash-inducing change of material (which is a good thing), this week we read A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis.  I just read it recently, but one can never have too much Lewis.  There was no comparing Rand and Lewis when it came to group discussion.  Talking about Rand was mildly interesting; talking about Lewis was intensely personal, insightful, and touching.  The amount of meaning and insight Lewis was able to pack into roughly the same number of pages as Ayn Rand was almost shocking.  Next up, the group is going to tackle Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupery, so that should make for some grand talks as well.